by Lt. Col Christina Abbott-Marks
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
4/29/2015 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Lt.
Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, commander of the Air Force's Space and Missile
Systems Center, spoke at the 2015 Space Symposium here on Apr. 16. He
highlighted how space is essential to the warfighter capability; how
space is changing, and how SMC must change; launch competition and new
development; and space risk reduction for resilience and affordability.
"These are truly exciting times for just about everything across the
spectrum of space activity, and our progress would not be possible
without the continued hard work, attention to detail, and focus on
mission success from every member of our expert and talented government
and Industry teams," said Lt. Gen. Greaves.
He went on to talk about how space is essential to the warfighter capability.
"Space systems multiply our abilities and, along with advances in the
other warfighting domains, have allowed us to continue providing war
winning capability to our joint and coalition forces," said Lt. Gen.
Greaves. "The very lives of our warfighters, and our nation's defenses,
depend upon continued collective government and industry commitment to
mission success. So, the demand for space capabilities has never been
"We are supporting the demand today by completing the building out of
the current generation of space systems - Advanced Extremely High
Frequency system, Space-Based Infrared, and GPS IIF, and proceeding with
the development of GPS III, which just last week completed mating the
first satellite's system module to its propulsion module, marking a big
step to getting factory production of GPS III into an efficient flow,"
he said. "We must now continue in earnest with developing the next
generation of systems to prepare for tomorrow."
Lt. Gen. Greaves elaborated on how space is changing, and how SMC must
change, citing three major trends that are influencing why and how he
plans on doing that. He said the first trend requires SMC to develop
systems that are resilient to the space environment and potential
adversary action; the second trend enables them to think about new
architectures and ways to build the more resilient systems SMC needs;
and the third trend requires SMC to place significant additional
emphasis on affordability as they develop and sustain those systems.
"To achieve this, we will balance between leveraging past successes such
as using the production mode we are in now to lower the costs of
today's programs, while also boldly moving forward with the new systems
development needed to be responsive to tomorrow's threat environment,"
said Lt. Gen. Greaves.
He went on to discuss how SMC is implementing guidance from the Better
Buying Power 3.0. BBP 3.0 is the third iteration of an initiative from
the Under Secretary of Defense that will increase the productivity,
efficiency, and effectiveness of the Department of Defense's many
acquisition, technology and logistics efforts.
"We are implementing BBP 3.0...[and] are focusing on development
planning," said Lt. Gen. Greaves. "Technological development can lower
costs and increase resilience - if we pursue it in a disciplined way. We
must retire the risks of new technologies before building new
architectures around them."
"So we must align our priorities, our needs, and our funding with our
systems development efforts," he continued. "To focus these efforts, we
recently united our Development Planning Directorate with our Space
Development and Test Directorate."
Lt. Gen. Greaves went on to discuss how the key to this is that when SMC
thinks about the next generation of space systems -- about resiliency,
affordability, and to him, most importantly, mission success -- they
think about them as systems.
"They have a launch segment, a space segment, a ground segment and the
links between them," he said. "All of these components must work
correctly together in order to turn taxpayer dollars into warfighter
He then asked the audience to think about launch for a moment and not
being able to put something in space. If launch can't happen, there is
no space capability.
"Launch is critical. We address that criticality - we make launch
resilient - through a policy of assured access to space," said Lt. Gen.
Greaves. "That requires at least two highly reliable launch systems as a
failsafe method to allow for continued access to space should one fleet
suffer a grounding event."
He then discussed how SMC plans on moving forward with certifying new entrants and preparing for tomorrow.
"As the market for space products matures, there will be more new
entrants. We welcome them. We welcome ULA's new launch vehicle - and we
will certify it through the same process laid out in our New Entrant
Certification Guide," he said.
He went on to talk about increasing competition and making better use of
industry capabilities to control costs and gain access to innovative
products, but emphasized that they will not reduce mission assurance
solely to allow competition.
"Focusing on mission success means applying the degree of mission
assurance required to get the job done, not more, and not less," he
"We are making a lot of improvements today," he continued. "All of these activities, though, are still stove-piped."
According to Lt. Gen. Greaves, to truly leverage the benefits, the
resilience, and the savings in manpower and money enabled by modern
information technology systems, SMC needs to think about all of its
ground activities as an enterprise.
Lt. Gen. Greaves summed up with, "Our warfighters, the young men and
women out there in the field every day, are depending on us to do that,
so they can succeed in their mission to protect the homeland and our
allies. The passion, the commitment, the hard work, and the innovation
all of you have demonstrated in supporting them has brought us to the
exciting place we're at today."