General John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM): It was always going to be a busy day, but somehow it got busier. So, we don’t have a lot of time. So, we will just go ahead and jump into questions, I think Lindsey is going to pick people and we will just go from there.
Gail Harris: Gail Harris with Lima Charlie Media, my question is concerning the proposed space organization, has there been talk about rolling the intelligence community’s space assets to that?
Hyten: We’ll probably get a lot more questions on Thursday at the hearing, but if you look at Space Policy Directive 4 that the President signed out a few weeks ago you’ll see a tasker for Department of Defense to work with the intelligence community, and define the relationship with the intelligence community. They gave us 180 days to do that work. Because we have to have a partnership, it has to be defined, and it wasn’t defined in the proposal that rolled out. There’s a lot of push to do that faster than 180 days, but the Space Policy Directive gave us 180 days to get that and come back. I think that’s an important piece of the future. How we lay that in will be the discussions of a lot of folks as we go forward.
Stew Magnuson: Stew Magnuson with National Defense Magazine. In your daily life your command deals with a lot of terminals, and now you have the global strike part of that. Do you think all these reforms that are ongoing with space is going to kind of get at the problem of coordinating the launches of satellites with the deployment of the terminals? Do you see any light at the end of the tunnel there, about ongoing issue?
Hyten: Gosh, I hope so. There’s been a significant challenge for basically my entire adult life, we have not done a good job of aligning the terminal programs with the satellite programs. We end up with satellites on orbit and then we chase the satellites with a ground system.
There’s actually a very logical reason why that happens every time, and the logical reason is that the services procure the terminals. Every service, it doesn’t matter what the level of budget is, has a challenge deciding what they’re going to buy and what they’re not going to buy. And rule number one of what you’re going to buy is don’t buy it until it’s time to buy it.
Now you don’t want to buy a terminal if the satellite’s not going to be ready, and the satellites would slip a little bit, so the services would back off and say I’ll wait. Then the satellites go up and then the terminal buy comes in later. We’ve got to do that better.
You heard the Secretary of the Air Force [Honorable Heather Wilson] this morning talk about Gen. [Jay] Raymond, [commander of Air Force Space command], now being the sole authority for purchasing SatCom [satellite communications]. The key now is to work with the other services and make sure we have a plan to integrate the network so we don’t end up with these dozens, even hundreds of different terminal types that we’re working with that really drive enormous costs and hurt our efficiency on the battlefield.
Magnuson: So, logic would dictate that that’s being taken away from the services, so it’s an end to end system…
Hyten: No. The services still have a role. I believe, this will be discussed as we go forward in the future. There’s not a final piece. But I believe the services still have to have that role because you need the Army and the Navy defining what their soldiers and sailors are going to have. You need the Air Force deciding what their pilots are going to need. You need that voice. You just can’t say over to you, Space Command. Over to you, Space Force. You guys deal with everything. You have to have a close partnership with all the services going forward, for as long as I can see in the future.
Bill Young: Bill Young with African American Voice. With cyber being so tied into space and vice versa, is there any effort to keep those together as it goes into a Space Force?
Hyten: We’re going to have a Cyber Command. The interesting thing about cyber is that every domain requires cyber to operate. It’s very similar to the electromagnetic spectrum. You have to actually, if you’re going to fight in the air you have to fight and win the spectrum. You have to fight and win cyber. It’s a different structure. It’s not a physical domain like air, land, sea and space. It’s a virtual domain that we create, that we have to work with. So, the right structure I think is the Cyber Command structure with the Space Command structure. As we look at the Space Force, that’s a physical domain. That’s a unique structure as we go forward. I think it’s going to be important to every service to have a very strong role in defining what they’re going to build and deal with in cyber as we go into the future.
There’s one element that will require further attention as we go into the future and that’s the offensive elements of cyber as we go forward in the future. Is that better consolidated? Or is that better with each service building it? That’s where that discussion will happen as we go forward in the future, but when you look at the network, the Air Force is going to build networks, the Navy’s going to build networks, the Army’s going to build networks, the DoD’s going to build networks, and we have to figure out how to integrate them together.
What we used to do in this country is we used to slam them all in one command and it happened to be my command -- space, cyber, ISR, nukes, everything under one command. So okay, STRATCOM, you integrate everything.
It didn’t actually work very well. One command doesn’t integrate for everybody else when everybody else actually builds it and controls it. So what we do well as this country, if you walk into the theaters today and you look at how we integrate that air, land and sea today, it’s seamless. Even though they were built by different services. We have to do the same with space and we have to do the same with cyberspace. They’re all a little bit different, but the key is how do we integrate them together on the battlefield.
Young: Will they also be tied into civilian protection through cyber?
Hyten: That’s a discussion between Cyber, the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. In Cyber there’s a Homeland Security mission; and there’s a Department of Defense mission.
Now when it comes to our nation’s infrastructure, there’s a linkage there that we have to make sure we work through, and Gen. Nakasone, [commander of U.S. Cyber Command], is working through that along with the Department of Defense. It’s really not my area anymore. But we’ll continue to work through that as we go forward.
Young: Thank you.
David Axe: David Axe with Daily Beast. With the collapse of major arms control treaties under the Trump administration are you worried – well, not are you. What do you think of the prospect of an out of control nuclear arms race? And that same collapse, how does that weigh on space?
Hyten: One thing I think I need to disagree with part of that question up front and that is the collapse of arms control under the Trump administration. The collapse of arms control, especially INF, started long before the Trump administration. The Russians went out from under that treaty in 2014, formally out from under that treaty. They were pursuing research and development for long before that. So this has been going on a long time. The first two years of the Trump administration, just like the last few years of the Obama administration, both administrations were trying to do everything possible to bring Russia back into the INF Treaty. It’s our desire to have Russia in the treaty. But if you have a two-party treaty and one party is not playing by the rules of that treaty, you don’t have a treaty anymore. So, it’s not like it collapsed out from under the Trump administration. It collapsed long before that, and it’s important that I think we all remember that as we go forward.
The second piece as we look forward. I desire as the commander of Strategic Command that the country be in a New START Treaty, a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, with our adversaries, Russia in particular. I think that’s good. It’s good for two reasons.
Number one, it puts a cap on the largest number of nuclear weapons that are out there in the world. And it also gives us a verification regime that provides us insight into what they’re doing and provides them insight into what we’re doing, and that provides strategic stability across the board.
It’s also interesting to see that Russia ever since the New START Treaty was signed, has been building significant platforms and nuclear weapons that are not party to that treaty. If you read that treaty you’ll find that what’s in that treaty are certain ballistic missiles, certain bombers, and certain submarine capabilities that are involved in that treaty. That’s what’s in that treaty.
So, these nuclear armed, nuclear powered torpedoes and nuclear armed, nuclear powered cruise missiles and the sea-launched cruise missiles that are on some of their new submarines, those aren’t part of the treaty. If I look at the future of arms control from a STRATCOM perspective, I want strategic arms control with all our potential adversaries, but I would like all of the nuclear capabilities of our nations, including the United States, on the table when we have those discussions. That’s what provides strategic stability, an understanding of all the nuclear weapons, not just part.
Axe: How does that weigh on space?
Hyten: How it weighs on space is that in space where you need to start is just in the very basic position and that’s in norms of behavior. I continue to be a big advocate for the development of international norms of behavior that define what good behavior is and bad behavior is in space. I think the first element you can walk down that is in minimizing and eliminating debris, because debris is bad for all nations that operate in space.
In the nuclear realm, in the conventional realm and all the other domains, we have norms of behavior that are longstanding. Rules of the sea, rules for air, air operations, rules for land warfare. Every domain has a set of international norms of behavior, but not space. That makes it very difficult because that means our space operators have no rules of engagement.
So, when you talk about the international world, it’s not an arms control issue first, it’s just defining the norms of behavior as we go through that. And that doesn’t have to be in treaties. That can just be in general agreed to norms of behavior that we move forward with. That should be the first step, in my opinion. But that’s just the STRATCOM commander’s opinion.
Sandra Erwin: Thank you, Sandra Erwin Space News. You have been critical of DoD moving too slow on satellite developments, so now we have a Space Development Agency that is trying to speed that up. There’s also concerns by the Air Force that there could be too much risk in doing some of the new strategies that are commercially based.
So what are your thoughts as to how you can be fast and also not take too much risk?
Hyten: I really love that question because it’s a question that defines the problem. You actually defined the problem exactly right. Somewhere along the way our country reached the point where risk was somehow bad, and all the processes that we put in place for acquisition are put in place to eliminate the opportunity for anything bad to happen. You can’t have a test that fails. You can’t have a program that fails. You can’t have anything that fails. So we put this huge bureaucracy in place to make sure that nothing fails. When you do that you basically say I won’t take any risk. And if you don’t take any risk, by definition you will move very slowly, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. It’s not because of any evil intention or because we like bureaucracy, it’s because we didn’t want to fail, we had no adversary that was looking at us across a fence that says we’re going fast, you have to keep up, and so we could make sure we didn’t make any mistakes going on. But it actually made sense, especially when space was a benign environment, which it was for a couple of decades.
But now that we’re threatened and now that we have these things, we have to understand how to take risk again. We have to move our entire structure.
You heard two things this morning. You heard the Secretary of Defense talk about the Space Development Agency taking risk and moving forward, trying new things. You heard the Secretary of the Air Force talk about the new Space and Missile System Center who are taking risk and doing things a different way. What we as a nation have to understand is both of those are going to be part of the solution in the future, and we have to make sure that we allow people to take risks and fail every once in a while. Not uninformed risks, not stupid risk, not risk of life and limb, but risk of failing because if you think about the Apollo Program, holy cow. One of the worst failures of our entire existence as a nation was January of 1967 when Apollo I blew up. And there were calls in Congress to cancel the program because it was too risky. We just lost three human lives. But we didn’t do that, and in two and a half years we landed a man on the moon on a different rocket that blew up on the pad in 1967.
That’s understanding risk and moving forward. That’s what this country is good at. That’s what all these elements we are trying to do. But the key thing, it doesn’t matter what the organization construct is. If the leadership of the country doesn’t decide that we can take risk and move forward quickly and delegate that risk down to people who are authorized to take that risk, who in many places are commanders, by the way, not committees in the Pentagon, we have to take that risk. Otherwise we will eventually fall behind our adversaries.
Right now we’re still way ahead, but if we don’t figure out how to go fast again, eventually we’ll fall behind.
Rachel Cohen: Rachel Cohen, Air Force Magazine. So, in the last few months, I don’t remember exactly when the hearing was, but you told Congress that you were getting ready to look at suggestions for NC3 [nuclear command, control and communications], ideas of the future that industry and academia, I guess some have gotten back to you. I’m curious how much more the new NC3 is going to rely on space and as the Air Force is talking about commercial opportunities for space and the need to defend space how that all plays into NC3?
Hyten: I’m going to share more inside the Pentagon, more at a classified level than I can share here, but it’s a fair question. I’ll give you a broad description of what I saw coming back from my visits with industry. What I saw coming in from industry, is that the NC3 of the past was basically building a hardened line through a satellite or through the ground, that we knew exactly where that line was. We would harden and defend the heck out of that line, and make sure that we could always protect that line. Sometimes it went through a MILSTAR satellite, an AHF satellite, sometimes it went point to point on the ground, and we would just identify that and we’d certify that and protect it.
In the future, especially as you get out into the 2050s and beyond, which is where we have to think now that we’re building this new nuclear command and control architecture for the future, you have to somehow think 30, 40, even 50 years beyond where we are today. That kind of structure will not work anymore.
Here’s what the structure has to be. The structure that we build has to be a near infinite. There’s no such thing as an infinite number of pathways, but a near infinite number of pathways that go through every element of space, which means hardened military space, commercial space, it goes through different kinds of fiber under the ground, because there are different kinds of air-to-air links. There’s so many infinite, near infinite pathways through the system, that the adversary can never figure out how the message is getting through and it will always get through, therefore.
And when I say that to industry now, because I’ve come to that agreement, everybody shakes their head up and down. But inside my command, there’s a lot of challenges because for the last 50 years we’ve certified a point to point system. So, the question is how do we certify this new vision of the future? That’s going to be hard to do because we have to certify it so the President will always trust it.
How do you certify something that you’re looking 30, 40, 50 years in the future? Something that has a near infinite number of pathways.
We don’t know how to do that yet, but the good news is this is one area, we’re addressing it where we have time to work through those issues. A lot of elements in the nuclear enterprise, we don’t have time. Everything is just in time. But in this element of nuclear command and control, we have time to work that issue out. So, it’s going to be an interesting challenge to go forward, but I think we have the right structure to work it.
Cohen: Do you see any commercial opportunities for NC3?
Hyten: I do. I think we’re going to use every pathway that’s available, and a lot of those pathways will be commercial. People wonder how you have a nuclear capability going through a commercial system. Well, it’s encrypted one end, encrypted on the other, you never know how it goes. All you have to do is make sure that packet gets through. That packet gets through, I don’t care where it goes.
So, the key is based on the threat, based on what the threat is, take advantage of whatever is out there.
Now in a nuclear environment the commercial sector’s probably not going to be there so you can’t just rely on that because that won’t be there, so you have to have other elements. But the key is putting all those elements in play together.
Courtney Albon: Hello sir, I’m Courtney Albon with Inside Defense. To follow up on that earlier question about risk, I wonder if you could answer that more specifically to this proposed proliferated LEO [low orbit earth] constellation and whether this is the right area to risk that kind of failure.
Hyten: It is. I’ve been looking at Low Earth Orbit constellations for sensing missions and communications missions for 30 years now. A little over 30 years, since I was an engineer in Los Angeles looking at these missions. I’ve been exploring that concept. There’s a lot of merit in that concept. But the problem with that concept is nobody’s ever demonstrated the technology and nobody’s ever proven it. So, if you’re going to decide what you’re going to link our nation’s security to, you can’t make a decision to move all-in on a technology that hasn’t been proven.
Now that technology’s going to be proven in a number of different ways. Some of it’s going to be proven on the commercial side. Some of it’s going to require government investment to do it. But you don’t have to build 500 satellites to prove that technology. You just have to prove that it works, that it will scale, and then you can make that decision. But what our country hasn’t done is invested in those risky programs to see what’s really out there.
The benefit we have now is the commercial sector’s investing a lot of money in some of the similar technologies about how we do that. So we have to figure out how to partner with them, and I think that’s what we’re going to do as we look at proliferated LEO. We can’t jump right to it right now because we don’t know, we can’t prove that it’s going to work. But there is merit in that construct, and when you see merit in that construct that means you have to invest a certain amount of our resources to look and see if that works. And if it works, that could be a game-changer. And if it doesn’t work, we won’t have risked a whole lot of money going down that path.
The other alternative is to say I’m going to go all the way there right now, and then you invest billions of dollars and you get to the end and you find out whoops, it didn’t work. Then you’re in trouble.
So, that’s the balance that we’re going through right here. It actually makes sense when you look at those pieces together. Somebody has got to prove these new technologies out and take a little more risk than we can on the operational systems.
So, the operational systems will continue to be built by the services, SMC [Space and Missile Systems Center] for the Air Force. They’ve got to have a place that kind of explores these new and high-risk innovative paths.
Tom Roeder: Hi Gen. Hyten. Tom Roeder with the Gazette. Patrick Shanahan described space as your third priority. That kind of begs the question. Was there a phase line you couldn’t meet? Was there a line of effort you couldn’t pursue because it’s your third priority? Is there something you’re kicking yourself about?
Hyten: He actually gave me a little more credit than I give myself. The way I describe it is it’s at best my third priority. Some days it’s not my third priority. Strategic deterrence is always number one. Nuclear command and control is always number two. But what is three depends on the day. I have missile defense issues. I have electromagnetic spectrum issues. I have joint analysis and targeting issues. Either one of those can pop-up and take my time during the day.
But what he said I think was important to remember is that when space was not a contested environment that was actually okay.
When it was just a supporting function to others that was okay because it didn’t take our commanders full time to look at that. And I could delegate most of those responsibilities to subordinate commanders.
But really a couple of years ago when I took command, I realized this was going to be a problem for me, which is one of the reasons I elevated Gen. Raymond to be my Joint Force Space Component Commander right away, so I had a four-star spending all of his time doing that.
You can also see that we’re going to have to move into a unified command structure at some point, and that would allow Gen. Raymond as a four-star to start building the beginnings of the infrastructure we have to do that. Because if you have to actually understand and fight an adversary that’s working real time in that environment, then you need somebody focused on it real time and that can never be me.
So, I started a couple of years ago, advocating for the establishment of a Unified Space Command. I elevated Gen. Raymond to be my four-star component as a step down that path, because somebody has to be looking at that all the time. One hundred percent of the time. You can’t take your eye off it. And there’s no way, it’s similar to me in the nuclear business. I can never take my eye off that business, and I don’t think anybody in this room, whatever country you’re from, would ever want the STRATCOM commander to take their eye off the nuclear business. Well we need that in space as well, somebody that never takes their eye off it, which is exactly where we’re going right now and hopefully we get there soon.
Konstantin Kakaes: Konstantin Kakaes, MIT Technology Review. I wanted to follow up on the previous question about LEO constellations. The way you discussed it, it’s almost a binary decision. This works, this doesn’t work. I want to sort of tease out your thinking on what are the tradeoffs there because it’s obviously not an actual binary thing.
Hyten: Thanks for going there, because it’s not. You said it exactly right. Ideally when you look at the future, the architecture that you want is going to be a mix of different orbits. Some proliferated, not proliferated, GEO [geosynchronous orbit], MEO [medium Earth orbit], LEO, High Elliptical Orbits. All those capabilities together can provide you with more exquisite capabilities than you can get. What do you get from Low Earth Orbit you don’t from Geosynchronous Orbit? Guess what? When you’re closer you can see better. It’s a whole lot easier. Which means you can see dim things a lot better than you can see from Geosynchronous Orbit, and we have dim threats that are appearing. So that’s got to be part of the piece. What’s the problem with Low Earth Orbit? Well, the problem there is that you have to be very proliferated in order to have global coverage, which gives it a challenge. What’s the advantage of Geosynchronous Orbit? You can see large swaths of the earth at any one time, but you can’t see it as well as you can from LEO.
So, the goal for the future is to build this mix of architectures that give us exquisite ability to see what we need to see, exquisite ability to communicate any time we need to, and make it a problem for an adversary to try to deny that to us because it was so robust and so well defended they can’t get to it. That’s the structure of the future. So, thanks very much for that question because it is not an either, or answer. It’s to figure out how do you add to the mix.
Kakaes: One quick follow-up. On the threat model, when you say dim threats, can you elaborate on what you mean by that?
Hyten: The big picture perspective, and you heard the Secretary talk about it in his opening remarks. He talked about hypersonics. So hypersonics, the current structure it starts off ballistic but very quickly goes into a hypersonic trajectory, and that hypersonic trajectory is a whole lot less bright than a ballistic missile, which means it’s harder to see, and therefore we probably need a different mix of sensors in order to see those capabilities to track. And people immediately jump to the assumption that we need to track in order to defend and shoot them down. That’s true, but that’s not the first reason that you want to track and characterize the threat. The first reason to track and characterize the threat is so you can attribute and characterize what that threat is to your country. If you can do that, that enables your deterrent mission.
So, the first reason that you have to have those sensor capabilities is to enable the deterrent mission. Then if you want to start exploring the defensive mission you can start walking down that path. But if you can’t see it, you can’t defend against it, and that’s what we have to walk down through with other sensor technology.
Keisuke Katori: Keisuke Katori, Asahi Shimbun. Can you give me a sense of the magnitude and scope of the threat you see from Russia and China in the space domain? What would you expect from Japanese counterparts to do, to respond to this threat?
Hyten: Actually, both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force listed the threats this morning, which as a combatant commander, you’re always concerned about talking about the threats specifically, but they went right down the threats that both China and Russia are building.
China and Russia are both building direct ascent kinetic weapons that can shoot down our satellites and also create debris. They’re building directed energy weapons that can blind us and negate our overhead capabilities. They’re building jammers. They’re building on-orbit capabilities that can threaten us. They’re building all these capabilities and they’re doing it aggressively and quickly. That’s what the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air Force described. That is the threat that we have to respond to.
Now in responding to that threat, you can respond in two ways. I like to think about it as the STRATCOM commander responding first from a deterrent structure and then from a response structure.
So, the deterrent structure, the elements of deterrence are still the same, but the means in space are different. So, the elements of deterrence are the ability to impose costs on an adversary, which is our nuclear force. That’s the traditional, if you do anything to me I can impose a cost on you that’s so severe you won’t go there.
But the other piece of deterrence is building denied benefit from an adversary action. And in space denied benefit is one of the best ways to deter. One of the best ways to deny benefit is to work with our partners and build a coalition of capabilities that make it very difficult for an adversary to attack from a physical perspective and also from a political perspective. Because if we have this coalition of capabilities on orbit and an adversary wants to attack them. The sheer numbers make it difficult for them, but the fact that if they attack the United States they’re also attacking our allies, pulls a whole different perspective in from deterrence.
Then from a response capability, if we have to respond, and you heard I think all the speakers this morning talk about if we’re challenge we’ll respond at a time, place, manner and domain of our choosing. That’s what our National Defense Strategy says. And it added domain for that reason, because we may not respond to a space attack in the space domain, and if that’s the case, we’re going to respond in conjunction with our allies, not by ourselves. It is our greatest strength as a nation, and we want to make sure we take advantage of that. So, we have to look at it from both a deterrence and a response perspective, and that’s where our allies can play a big role on both sides of that equation.
Ludimila Chernova: I would like to go back to the New START Russia. So, would you like to prolong this treaty and if you think anything needs to be changed with other countries like China as well as if you think that it needs to include new systems in Russia’s [arsenal]?
And my other question, is about hypersonics. If the United States is planning to speed up development of hypersonic weapons, and when do you plan to put them into service.
Hyten: The answer to the first question is, I guess first of all, I’m not a diplomat. I’m not a member of the Department of State, so all I can answer is from a commander of Strategic Command perspective. And from the commander of Strategic Command who has all the strategic nuclear weapons of the United States under my command, I would like a world where all the nuclear nations of the world talk about arms restrictions and arms reduction. In order to do that, you have to be able to talk about all nuclear weapons and all nuclear capabilities, not just a subset.
So when I look at Russia in particular, I’m still a fan of the New START Treaty because of the reason I mentioned before, but I want to make sure when we sit down with Russia we understand all of their nuclear capabilities that they’re bringing to bear against the United States and against our allies in NATO. And right now the process is not doing that.
There’s an article in the New START Treaty that talks about if one party sees the other party building strategic capabilities that aren’t party to this treaty, they should bring that forward. And I know for a fact that the State Department is doing that. I hope that Russia, the Foreign Ministry there, gets together with our State Department and has those discussions because I think that’s best for the world. I think those kind of discussions happen best first in the bilateral way, and then ultimately in a multilateral way, but we’ll have to go down that path.
The hypersonics question, it’s a really simple answer. Russia and China are going really fast in hypersonics right now. We’re going to move fast to make sure we can do that. But it’s interesting to me when I look at our hypersonic program and the Russia and China program, Russia and China talk about hypersonics as part of their future strategic deterrent force, which means nuclear hypersonic capabilities. We don’t have any plan for using hypersonics in our nuclear force. The only hypersonics we’re talking about are conventional capabilities to bring a certain conventional capabilities to bear against our potential adversaries. We’re not talking about nuclear weapons on hypersonics capabilities like our competitors are.
Media: If we can go back to the hypersonic missile defense question, there seems to be some confusion again on the mix of orbits and the mix of systems that we will use to detect hypersonic missiles, and then who has the authority to do that? When do you see that being clarified for a system everybody wants to go fast to accomplish it?
Hyten: Right now, STRATCOM is doing that as part of our implied missions under the Unified Command Plan, the space mission.
We’re working right now in the new Unified Command Plan for the Space Command responsibilities, and our desire is to give Space Command more responsibility over global sensor management and integration because we think there needs to be a formal role for how that would work.
Now we’re going through that process. But that’s a function that my command, STRATCOM, has been doing I think for 15 years now, an initiative called Global Sensor Integrated Network, GSIN. We’re just trying to formalize as we go forward. So, it’s not just a coalition of the willing. It’s actually a responsibility of a command, and I think Space Command is the obvious place to do that. It’s not that we haven’t been doing that for the last 15 years. We have. It’s just I don’t think we’ve move forward as quickly and as rapidly as we need to in order to deal with the threats that we’re facing in the future.
So, that’s the kind of structure that we’re looking at. I think Space Command is going to be perfectly postured, both from a satellite communications perspective and a sensor integration perspective to do that in the future. Hopefully that’s obvious to everybody that’s been watching this for a long time, and we’ll just work through it with the Department of Defense, the administration, to make sure we get that right.
Media: What about on the acquisition side?
Hyten: On the acquisition side there’s going to be a variety of different sensors that are built for a variety of different missions. The key is to make sure the requirements are fully linked and the operations are fully linked. It’s similar to nuclear command and control. Nuclear command and control, I don’t want the acquisition responsibilities that the services have because I’m a combatant commander. I don’t want the budget responsibilities. I want to focus on operations.
So, my responsibilities on nuclear command and control are operations, requirements, and system engineering. I’m hoping we get to satellite communications and then sensor integration that the new Space Command commander will have those similar responsibilities to look at, but they should reach out to the services to still buy things, to budget for things, to work those kind of things, because they do that better than any combatant command.
SOCOM [Special Operations Command] is the only command now that really has the acquisition authorities and those are very small, unique issues, not for these big platform based acquisitions.
Thank you guys very much.