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Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

Happy Second Birthday to US Space Force

Monday, December 20th, 2021

Russian Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite Missile Test Creates Significant, Long-Lasting Space Debris

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. —

Russia tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile on Nov. 15, 2021, Moscow Standard Time, that struck a Russian satellite [COSMOS 1408] and created a debris field in low-Earth orbit. The test so far has generated more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.

“Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander. “The debris created by Russia’s DA-ASAT will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible.”

USSPACECOM’s initial assessment is that the debris will remain in orbit for years and potentially for decades, posing a significant risk to the crew on the International Space Station and other human spaceflight activities, as well as multiple countries’ satellites. USSPACECOM continues to monitor the trajectory of the debris and will work to ensure all space-faring nations have the information necessary to safeguard their on-orbit activities if impacted by the debris cloud, a service the United States provides to the world, to include Russia and China.

“Russia is developing and deploying capabilities to actively deny access to and use of  space by the United States and its allies and partners,” Dickinson added. “Russia’s tests of direct-ascent anti-satellite weapons clearly demonstrate that Russia continues to pursue counterspace weapon systems that undermine strategic stability and pose a threat to all nations.”

By US Space Command Public Affairs Office

Air Force Recruiting Releases Docuseries on BMT

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) —  

Anyone wondering what the process of joining the Air Force is like, leading up to and through the completion of Basic Military Training, should check out a new docuseries that follows five individuals as they transition from civilians to Airmen.

Titled “Basic,” the eight-part docuseries was released on the Air Force Recruiting official YouTube page Oct. 28.

For Air Force leaders, this is a unique opportunity to show recruits an in-depth look into their upcoming experience.

“From a recruiter’s first meeting with a future Airman or Guardian, their first questions always seem to be about what they can expect at Basic Military Training,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “Today’s BMT isn’t what mom or dad went through decades ago, and it’s not necessarily what Hollywood portrays. The Air Force is granting access to BMT as it happened for brand-new Airmen. This series aims to shine a light on the reality and professionalism of basic training. We want future Airmen and future Guardians to know what to expect when they make decisions and prepare for this uncommon life.”

“I’m excited to provide this unique look into the journey America’s sons and daughters take as they become Airmen in the world’s greatest Air Force,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. “Their service to our Air Force and nation has never been more important, and seeing our military training instructors in action as they develop these Airmen to fulfill those roles is motivating to say the least.”

Basic was produced and directed by Ken Raimondi, a former Air Force recruiter and current civil service producer and director with the 3rd Audio Visual Squadron. He led a team that grew from four to 17 people to complete the project. Raimondi said he has always wanted to do an in-depth documentary on BMT since he was on active duty.

“I was a recruiter from 2003-2006 and I wished there was something like this then that showed Basic Military Training in great detail from the perspective of the service member,” he said. “It just hasn’t existed up until the release of this project, in this amount of depth.”

Raimondi said the series shows all the emotions recruits go through during the process and gives viewers an inside look at BMT.

“It shows their nervous thoughts at home before they leave, the shock of the first weeks, the highs and lows, successes and failures, and everything in-between,” Raimondi said. “The eight-part series opens the doors to BMT in a way you’ve never experienced. Imagine being a fly on the wall throughout BMT and once a week, getting the chance to hear directly from the subjects, away from anyone else, including their military training instructors, to hear exactly what they think and feel.”

The project was initially brought to Raimondi in 2019 by the superintendent of BMT at the time, Chief Master Sgt. Lee Hoover.

“They wanted an in-depth look at the BMT experience,” Raimondi recalls. “After an initial discussion, we agreed to bring Air Force Recruiting Service on board as they have the highest traffic for the target audience we knew we wanted to go for.”

Rather than just tell the story of BMT and some of the changes in recent years, Raimondi had other ideas on how to tell this story.

“I pitched the idea to not just tell the world how BMT has changed, but let’s show it through the lives of five civilians as they make that transition to Airman,” he said. “The great thing about BMT is that the drama is built in from the start. It’s a captivating story that thousands of people experience every week here and taking just five of those stories and letting them tell it as they experience it accomplished multiple goals. It’s entertaining to watch, authentic, and informs our audience organically of what modern-day BMT is like.”

When BMT agreed to take the approach Raimondi pitched, they knew it couldn’t happen without the support of AFRS.

“First of all, recruiters are the face of the Air Force to many of our communities,” Raimondi said. “If recruiters were not involved in this, we would be missing a huge chance to reach our target audience at the very place where they would be asking the questions this series could answer. Beyond that, we also knew it would cost money to send our team of four on the road for five weeks from one hometown to another to cover the pre-Air Force life of our subjects.”

AFRS agreed to help fund the project. Now Raimondi had all the major stakeholders behind his idea and was free to see his vision through to the end. For AFRS, supporting this project was a no-brainer.

“This was an excellent opportunity for Air Force recruiting to provide potential recruits some insight into what that life changing moment of Basic Military Training is like,” said Wes Fleming, chief of plans and programs for AFRS public affairs. “We felt like this story hasn’t been told before, showing the life changing experience of becoming an Airman.”

AFRS did help fund this project, but also played a critical role throughout the making of this docuseries.

“AFRS was involved since pre-production,” Raimondi said. “They helped me narrow down our cast and paid for our travel from place-to-place before we began filming at BMT. Their participation from the start was critical to the success of this. They also helped me coordinate with the recruiters of each person so we can see some of that interaction. In fact, we get to cover a prospective battlefield Airman as he goes through training for the [Physical Ability Stamina Test] used in Special Warfare career fields before he ever leaves for BMT. That access is all due to AFRS.”

Raimondi realizes this is not the kind of product normally produced for AFRS.

“You may expect something shorter, punchier or slicker, and that would be fair,” Raimondi said. “They are vying for the attention of a target audience that has plenty of other things to do and see outside of what the Air Force offers. Speaking as a former recruiter, I know how hard that is. Now this series may not bring more people to the recruiting doors; I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that AFRS wants to make sure that the folks they do send to BMT are well informed and ready to succeed in the Air Force. I am 100% confident this series will do that.”

Raimondi optimistically thinks this series will motivate people to want to join, but at minimum, it gives recruits some understanding of what to expect at BMT.

“The important thing is that now the world has insight into how the Air Force trains civilians to become Airmen,” he said. “With that knowledge out there, prospective recruits and potential Airmen can make an informed decision and be ready to tackle the challenge of their lives.”

Tackling a project of this scope is no easy task for Raimondi and his team.

“I was lucky in the fact that the Navy produced a short format docuseries called ‘Boot Camp: Making a Sailor,’” he said. “I reached out to the producer, Austin Rooney, to hear some things that worked and some things that were challenging ahead of us moving forward. His insight definitely helped me think through some things and he helped me avoid some challenges that they faced in producing theirs. It’s a great series and I’m thankful Austin took the time to share the background with me.”

The one thing he knew he wanted to do differently was to be there every step of the way. From their hometowns to graduation, his small team of four spent seven days a week and upwards of 18 hours a day with them.

“The philosophy being that if we aren’t there to capture what happens, we can’t tell the entire story to the audience,” Raimondi said. “Documentary is all about being there when it happens and we made the sacrifice to do that, including holidays, weekends, evenings, mornings, whatever it took. It was an exhausting endeavor that allowed us to take home more than 20 terabytes of footage. Hundreds of hours of footage cut down to about five hours making up this eight-part series.”

The other thing that was really important to Raimondi was absolute authenticity. He said this isn’t the Air Force’s story or BMT’s story, it’s the story of the five.

“We didn’t conduct traditional interviews outside of the hometown visits,” he said. “The trainee sat in front of what we called a confessional camera, and was allowed to speak freely whatever they thought and felt from the week they experienced. As the editor, it wasn’t the easiest thing to cut as people didn’t just give simple sound bites, but to me that’s where the authenticity lives. It’s messy, real, raw … it’s life. I think modern audiences appreciate projects that have the shine off and show you how it really is. My goal is that the audience wouldn’t feel the hands of the director or editor, but instead be immersed into the story as it unfolds.”

Raimondi and his team felt fortunate to have wrapped up their production on this project January 6, 2020.

“Had COVID(-19) hit us while we were in production we would have had to stop filming and would have lost the whole project,” he said. “Training and safety come first and if the presence of our crew ever got in the way of either, we would have had to stop filming. As I was editing it, isolated in the edit bay during the social-distancing measures, it was weird watching all of these unmasked trainees working in close proximity. At the time it felt like another world. Thankfully, with vaccines picking up steam, I think a return to normal is around the horizon. I know I’m thankful for that.

I’m so proud of this project,” Raimondi said. “I fully expect this will reach a lot of people, and when they get to BMT, they will be ready to experience what’s ahead of them. For the parents and families of those leaving to serve, it will allow them a sneak peek into the BMT experience. For the casual fan of documentaries, they’ll love the drama that unfolds at BMT. Tears, cheers, blood, sweat and even laughter… it’s all there because that is the BMT experience.”

“Basic” will air on the Air Force Recruiting Service’s official YouTube at 8 p.m. EST, with a new episode each Thursday, with the exception of Thanksgiving night, beginning Oct. 28. Viewers can access it here.

TacJobs – Space Force Supra Coders

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

The United States Space Force Software Development Immersive (a.k.a. Supra Coders) cohorts are now open for applications. Please note completed applications for the next available cohort, Blended Software Development Immersive #1 (BSDI #1), are due 18-Nov. The program is open to Guardians who understand the basics of modern software development and want to further develop their experience working with USSF product teams.

Visit supracoders.us/blended-sdi to apply today.

Multi-Domain Warfare Students Observe Real-Time CSpOC C2 Operations

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

The Multi-Domain Warfare Officer Initial Skills Training class 21B visited the U.S. Space Command’s Combined Force Space Component Command at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, to observe real-time operations, Sept. 20-21.

Vandenberg SFB was the first of a four-leg trip for the Multi-Domain Warfare Officer, or 13O, students traveling to geographic and functional operations centers. The 13Os also traveled to the Shadow Operations Center – Nellis, or ShOC-N, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, 612th Air Operations Center, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and the 616th Operations Center at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

The 19 students of class 21B were able to tour and observe real-time operations at the Combined Space Operations Center. The CSpOC’s mission is to execute operational command and control of space forces to achieve theater and global objectives. 

The 13O students were also given the opportunity to talk to several senior U.S. Space Force leadership, including CFSCC Commander Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt. Discussions focused on inter-service interactions and daily planning challenges facing CSpOC Guardians such as command relationships, authorities, and the development of C2 strategies as USSPACECOM components are reorganized, and new components become operational. 

Maj. Gen. Burt stressed the significant role local 13Os have and continue to play in overcoming these challenges, bringing all these efforts together into one integrated plan. 

“Observing real-time CSpOC operations allowed our students to witness first-hand many of the space capabilities, threats, limitations, and planning considerations previously covered in our classroom academics,” said Lt. Col. Ernie “Bert” Chen, 705th Training Squadron deputy director of operational warfare training, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

The Multi-Domain Warfare Officer course is taught by the 705th Training Squadron whose mission is to provide advanced operational level multi-domain C2 training and education for joint and coalition senior leaders and equip air operations center warfighters through tactics development.

To learn more about 13O training and the Multi-Domain Warfare Officer career field, visit the following websites:  intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/C2/13O/SitePages/Home and www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/13O.

The 705th TRS reports to the 505th Test and Training Group and 505th Command and Control Wing, both are headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

AstroAccess Successfully Completes ZERO-G Parabolic flight with Crew of 12 Disability Ambassadors

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Ambassadors experienced 15 weightless parabolas and tested new designs for accessibility

Ambassador feedback will inform design of future space missions 

Flight seeks to advance disability inclusion in STEM

18 October 2021, Long Beach, CA – AstroAccess, an initiative dedicated to advancing disability inclusion in space exploration, and Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) successfully completed a parabolic flight with a crew of 12 ambassadors with mobility, vision, and hearing disabilities on Sunday, October 17.

A press conference with representatives of the crew will be livestreamed on Monday, October 18 at 10:00am Pacific time, via the following link: https://bit.ly/3DOn63Z (passcode: ToBoldlyGo)

On Sunday, the ZERO-G aircraft ascended to an altitude of 32,000 feet, at which point the vehicle commenced its parabolic maneuvers. Ambassadors carried out planned demonstrations over the course of 15 arcs, experiencing multiple minutes of weightlessness.

During the flight, the ambassadors conducted demonstrations to understand how space vessels can be made more accessible by design and procedure. These tests included new visual and haptic feedback mechanisms to signify phases of flight, crew uniforms intentionally designed for accessibility, interior customizations to provide instantaneous location and orientation awareness for safety in microgravity, and a variety of other additional scientific and technical demonstrations.

Anna Voelker, Executive Director of SciAccess and Co-Project Lead of AstroAccess, said, “Space removes the barriers between people; now is the time to remove the barriers to space itself.”  They continued, “AstroAccess is sending a message to people who have historically been excluded from STEM that not only is there room for you in space, there is a need for you.”

The mission was supported by a wide range of disability and space organizations, including DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Gallaudet University, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Whitesides Foundation. The AstroAccess mission was part of SciAccess and under fiscal sponsorship of Yuri’s Night. A full list of partners is below.

In addition to the 12 ambassadors, onboard the flight were members of several American companies flying crewed spaceflight vehicles.

The mission not only provides valuable insights on the future of spacecraft design, but also seeks to advance disability inclusion in STEM, inspire the next generation of scientists and world-changers, welcome new perspectives into the science community, and demonstrate the benefit of intentional and accessible design in space and here on Earth.

George Whitesides, Co-Project Lead of AstroAccess, said: “Yesterday’s successful flight was an important milestone in our mission to open space for all. The tasks and demonstrations carried out by our ambassadors will have a profound effect on the space industry at large, inform the design of future space vehicles, and pave the way for future astronauts with disabilities.” 

“One characteristic veterans share is the unwavering desire to serve, and it’s an inclination that continues for many once they no longer wear our nation’s uniform,” said Marc Burgess, CEO and national adjutant of DAV. “We’re incredibly grateful to AstroAccess for giving our ambassador CeCe Mazyck the opportunity to contribute to vital research that will integrate disabled veterans and civilians alike into space and benefit the disabled community and humanity for years to come.”

Sina Bahram, Flight 1 AstroAccess Ambassador:

“Floating in microgravity was the truest physical manifestation of pure joy and delight that I have ever felt in my life. I feel this joy because of the visceral nature of the experience, the progress being made by and for people with disabilities, the more inclusive future we are building, and the recognition that such a future will not exist without us.”

astroaccess.org

VCSO Visits Space Systems Command, Shares Vision for New Field Command

Monday, October 11th, 2021

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — U.S. Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson met with Guardians and Airmen during his visit to Space Systems Command Oct. 4, marking his first visit to SSC since its activation.

Thompson, who is the first VCSO in USSF history, made resolute expectations for the newly formed field command during an All Call with SSC Guardians and Airmen.

“SSC needs to re-energize its approach to seeing, understanding and rapidly developing while fielding new capabilities to keep us ahead of threats that we see from China and others,” Thompson said.

Noting the important mission that SSC has in the space domain, Thompson stressed to its members to help the U.S. Space Force hasten its pace.

“We have to ask members of SSC to tell us what they need in order to change policy and regulations, and even work with congress to change laws that will allow us to move faster,” Thompson said.

Furthermore, Thompson recognized the importance of bringing prosperity to SSC through ever-expanding partnerships in the acquisitions community.

“Commercial companies are moving so rapidly,” he stated. “We need to develop partnerships with the commercial sector to understand what they are doing as well as be able to leverage it to our benefit.”

Thompson re-emphasized the roles of leadership for SSC as well as other field commands that will help build a more lean and agile U.S. Space Force.

“We have to put authority and responsibility back into the hands of the senior materiel leaders to give them the authority and resources to stay engaged at a strategic level.” Thompson continued. “But leave them alone to do the business we have trained them to do.

By SSgt Andrew Moore

Space Force, Purdue Partner on STEM Education, Innovation

Monday, October 4th, 2021

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind — The Space Force established an agreement with Purdue University Sept. 29, making Purdue the latest entrant into the Space Force’s University Partnership Program.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Gen, David D. “DT” Thompson, USSF vice chief of space operations, signed a memorandum of agreement in Hovde Hall on the Purdue campus.

“For quite some time, Purdue’s involvement in space has expanded far beyond our distinguished history of astronauts,” Daniels said. “Our partnership with the Space Force provides yet another example of our commitment to space exploration and national security.”

The signing was part of a two-day campus visit for Thompson, who received his master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the university in 1989. Thompson said the UPP will leverage the internationally-renowned research and educational opportunities available at Purdue to take on the engineering, science and technology issues facing the Space Force.

“As someone who has personally benefited from the caliber of education Purdue provides, I am excited for the next generation of Guardians who will expand their knowledge and expertise through this partnership,” Thompson said. “Those Guardians must have the STEM foundation that provides a deep understanding of the space domain to conquer the challenges of today, coupled with the confidence and commitment to solve the problems we are certain to encounter in the future.”

While on campus, Thompson met with Air Force ROTC cadets training for Space Force, as well as officers in the Purdue Military Research Initiative.

Air Force Col. Ken Callahan, currently posted with Purdue’s Air Force ROTC detachment, said Purdue graduated several ROTC students directly to the Space Force this past spring and recently welcomed several new Space Force military graduate students to campus.

“These students are just one an example of the quality of education we have at Purdue,” Callahan said. “People in the Air Force know about Purdue and its expanding connection to space and the Space Force program.”

Thompson also talked with university leaders, heard from faculty at Maurice J. Zucrow Labs and took driving tours of Purdue’s Discovery Park and the Aerospace District, a university-affiliated aerospace business hub for public and private research collaborations on research and commerce.

Purdue is one of 11 universities initially selected to join the UPP.  Establishing strategic partnerships with this select set of nationally-renowned universities allows the Space Force to recruit and educate a diverse, high-caliber workforce, offer opportunities to advance research in specific areas of interest, and develop a 21st century, technology-savvy military service. Research is the largest component of the program, with Purdue and other universities each having its own research component.

Purdue was selected on criteria including the quality of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degree offerings and space-related research laboratories and initiatives; a robust ROTC program; a diverse student population; and degrees and programming designed to support military, veterans and their families in pursing higher education.

Following Wednesday’s signing, Purdue and the Space Force will begin working together to meet the program’s major goals, including establishing research assistantships, internship agreements, opportunities for Guardians to pursue advanced degrees and both ROTC and civilian scholarship programs.

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs