Skip to Main Content

Spacecom Aims for Space Defense Readiness by 2027

Space Command’s Gen. Stephen Whiting looks to strengthen partnerships as space sphere threats evolve among adversaries.

3m read
Written by:
Gen. Stephen Whiting, U.S. Space Command commander, speaks at Space Symposium 39 in Colorado Springs in April.
Gen. Stephen Whiting, U.S. Space Command commander, speaks at Space Symposium 39 in Colorado Springs in April 2024. Photo Credit: U.S. Space Command/DVIDS

U.S. Space Command is bolstering international and commercial partnerships to maximize combat readiness and address proliferating threats posed by China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, Spacecom Commander Gen. Stephen Whiting said this month.

“China is moving at breathtaking speed, they’ve moved to field counterspace capabilities very quickly,” Whiting said during a Schriever Spacepower Series webinar. “We are all concerned about the rate at which China is developing in space, and we want to make sure that we’re working as well to gain together because we do believe we’re all stronger together.”

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in February, Whiting cautioned that the U.S. is facing a “window of vulnerability” to counter adversaries and designated China and Russia as key concerns impacting the combatant command’s efforts.

In response to the growing sense of cooperation in the space sphere among China, North Korea, Iran and Russia, Whiting highlighted that the U.S. defense enterprise’s system of alliances is a unique component, bringing distinctive perspectives and delivering capabilities.

With 33 different international agreements for space situational awareness and an amplifying commercial sector, partnerships are critical to enhancing the U.S. competitive edge and defend current constellations against threats, added Whiting.

“Our [alliance] system makes us stronger and helps us develop resilience and build capacity,” Whiting said. “We can bilaterally share information and then develop tactics, techniques and procedures together.”

According to Whiting, Spacecom’s paramount priority is to make provisions to optimize combat readiness by 2027. He noted that leveraging tests, operations and exercises with partners is critical to operating more effectively.

In January, China had 359 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites in orbit, three times the number in 2018. As a result, the command is shifting its strategic mission to conduct dynamic, partnered and integrated space operations to defer aggression and fortify posture.

Whiting also called attention to the significance of his first international trip to South Korea and Japan, emphasizing that collaboration is critical to strengthening initiatives and leveraging expertise to defend threats.

“As countries like China and Russia have made their terrestrial forces more lethal, more precise and more far ranging because they’ve gone to space — we must help our joint force to be protected against those space enabled capabilities,” Whiting said.

Related Content
Woman typing at computer

Stay in the Know

Subscribe now to receive our newsletters.