The Insider

By Tony Bertuca
May 8, 2023 at 5:00 AM

The House Armed Services Committee begins crafting its fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill this week at the subcommittee level. Meanwhile, senior Pentagon officials are scheduled to speak on Capitol Hill.


The Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the missile defense budget.

The Special Competitive Studies Project hosts the Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security featuring several senior Pentagon officials.


The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on "Modernizing U.S. Arms Exports and a Stronger AUKUS."

The Mitchell Institute holds an event with Space Training and Readiness Command chief Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on the contested space domain.


The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the defense budget with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

Senior Defense Department chief information officers speak at a DefenseScoop DefenseTalks event.

The House Oversight national security, the border and foreign affairs subcommittee holds a hearing on "Challenges and Solutions in Naval Surface Ship Construction."

The House Armed Services cyber, information technology and innovation subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

The House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

The House Armed Services intelligence and special operations subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.


The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee marks up its version of the defense authorization bill.

By John Liang
May 5, 2023 at 2:02 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competition, the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile replacement effort, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and more.

Doug Bush, the Army's top acquisition official, said recently that the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program is eight months behind schedule, due in part to quality-control-related delays with the engines at the sub-vendor level:

While their prototypes wait for engines, FARA competitors touting their technology

As Bell and Sikorsky await the delivery of the Improved Turbine Engines for their respective prototypes in the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competition, each company is making its best case to the Army for why its technology is preferred.

Air Force Gen. Thomas Bussiere spoke at a Hudson Institute event this week:

GSC commander 'cautiously optimistic' on Sentinel delivery date

The commander of Air Force Global Strike Command is "cautiously optimistic" the service will be able to field Sentinel nuclear missile capabilities on the current timeline despite schedule concerns raised in recent weeks.

A U.S. official told Inside Defense this week that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is "revising its regulations" to propose adding eight new military installations to its real estate jurisdiction:

CFIUS proposes expansion that could block Chinese land purchases near U.S. military bases

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States intends to propose its authority be expanded to include oversight of eight additional military installations where nearby land has been bought or eyed for potential purchase by foreign investors, including those with ties to China.

A proposed cruise missile defense radar project is part of a $1 billion bundle of Pentagon investments meant to strengthen the domestic industrial base and secure U.S. supply chains run by the office of the assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy:

DOD seeking FY-24 funding to develop prototype X-band domestic cruise missile defense radar

The Defense Department is planning a new-start project in fiscal year 2024 to develop select technologies needed for a prototype X-band domestic cruise missile defense radar -- a sensor needed to provide point defense of a limited number of critical targets.

The Hypersonic Air-Launched Offensive Anti-Surface (HALO) program, launched as a new-start initiative in fiscal year 2023, is intended to enhance offensive strike capability as a carrier-suitable weapon with higher speeds and a greater range than existing capabilities:

Navy looks to streamline HALO fielding with MTA Rapid Prototyping approach

The Navy plans to expedite development of a carrier-launched hypersonic weapon capability, shifting the program from a traditional acquisition pathway to the Middle Tier Acquisition Rapid Prototyping approach as it attempts to field the system before 2030.

Huntington Ingalls Industries executives discussed their company's quarterly earnings this week:

Shipbuilding contracts anchor HII Q1 revenue

Huntington Ingalls Industries on Thursday reported $2.67 billion in revenue for the first quarter, representing a 4% increase over the same period last year.

By Tony Bertuca
May 4, 2023 at 4:26 PM

Seven former defense secretaries have sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to “act expeditiously” to confirm nearly 200 military nominees that have been blocked from confirmation by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who is holding up the process over his opposition to Pentagon travel policies for servicemembers seeking abortion services.

Signatories of the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) include former defense secretaries Mark Esper, Jim Mattis, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel, William Cohen and William Perry.

“The blanket hold on the promotion or reassignment of these senior uniformed leaders is harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security,” the former defense chiefs wrote.

“Because the Senate is required to confirm every general and flag officer for promotion or for reassignment,” they said, “this practice has traditionally been a pro-forma exercise, except where there have been specific concerns about individual nominees, which were then handled separately.”

Tuberville, however, has issued a blanket hold on military nominations and promotions that has been in place for several weeks, citing his opposition to a Pentagon policy that gives military servicemembers paid leave and travel expenses to obtain abortion services in states where they remain legal. He has likened the Pentagon to an “abortion travel agency.”

The former defense secretaries, without mentioning Tuberville’s name, say the “current hold” is “preventing key leaders from assuming important, senior command and staff positions around the world.”

They note the hold is impacting “important command positions” like leading the 5th Fleet in Bahrain and the 7th Fleet in the Pacific, “which are critical to checking Iranian and Chinese aggression, respectively.”

The former defense chiefs also highlight other expected vacancies that will need to be filled, including the next military representative to NATO and the director of intelligence at U.S. Cyber Command.

“Leaving these and many other senior positions in doubt at a time of enormous geopolitical uncertainty sends the wrong message to our adversaries and could weaken our deterrence,” they wrote.

Additionally, they wrote, the blanket hold will impact nearly 80 three- and four-star commanders ending their terms in the coming months who will not be able to be replaced, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“There are also real-world impacts on the families of these senior officers,” they wrote. “Most cannot move and resettle their families; their children cannot enroll at their next schools on time; and spouses cannot start new jobs at the next duty station. We can think of few things as irresponsible and uncaring as harming the families of those who serve our nation in uniform.”

Senators seeking policy changes, they said, should do so through legislation, not the holding of military nominations and promotions.

“We, therefore, strongly urge the Senate to ensure the continued readiness of the U.S. armed forces by lifting the blanket hold and promptly voting to confirm these uniformed nominees,” they wrote.

Tuberville, meanwhile, has shown no sign of backing off his hold, last month blocking an attempt to begin advancing nominees through unanimous consent.

By Shelley K. Mesch
May 4, 2023 at 4:18 PM

Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach will take over as commander of Air Combat Command, pending Senate confirmation, the Defense Department announced Thursday.

Wilsbach is the current commander of Pacific Air Forces and the air component commander of Indo-Pacific Command at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI. ACC is based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA.

Gen. Mark Kelly has been ACC commander since 2020. The announcement does not include information about Kelly’s future plans.

By John Liang
May 4, 2023 at 1:58 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity program, the Government Accountability Office's latest congressional testimony on military readiness and more.

The Defense Department issued a proposed rule Wednesday that would allow more defense contractors who hold sensitive DOD information to become part of the Pentagon's Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity program:

Defense ISAC leader identifies link between Pentagon proposed rule for DIB program and CISA incident reporting regime

Steve Shirley, executive director of the National Defense Information Sharing and Analysis Center, sees an opportunity for the Defense Department and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to work together on incident reporting as the Pentagon starts to expand its voluntary information sharing program and CISA implements a regime for critical infrastructure.

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante spoke this week on a panel hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations:

LaPlante wants to see 'production, production, production'

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said this week that defense industrial base policy is in the middle of a "pivot" driven by the need to fill capacity gaps highlighted by the ongoing war in Ukraine and the need to prepare to possibly aid Taiwan in the event of a conflict with China.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense plans to assess the Glide Phase Intercept program by looking for evidence that Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman can design a new hypersonic defense system faster than previously estimated:

DOD open to accelerating GPI fielding goal, industry must prove technology can mature faster

The Defense Department will explore the possibility of accelerating the Glide Phase Interceptor program schedule -- currently slated for fielding in 2034 -- if contractors developing competing designs for a hypersonic-killing guided missile provide compelling evidence that yet-to-be-developed technology is sufficiently mature to achieve earlier deployment.

The Government Accountability Office this week submitted testimony to the Senate Armed Services readiness and management support subcommittee stating that the Defense Department "faces several challenges as it works to rebuild and restore readiness across the military while also modernizing its forces":

GAO report offers mixed review of force readiness

The military's resource readiness ratings increased for five years through fiscal year 2021 in the air, ground and space forces but decreased across the sea forces, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

Document: GAO testimony on military readiness

More coverage from that subcommittee hearing:

Space Force lacks ability to provide realistic mission training

The Space Force does not yet have the ability to present realistic threats for trainers or to carry out integrated training for intra and joint services, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson told lawmakers on Tuesday.

GAO: Army still must address challenges for rail transport of equipment

The Army has yet to address a number of issues related to the maintenance of rail transportation it uses for ammunition, vehicles and other equipment, according to the Government Accountability Office.

A new Army counter-UAS academy is expected to reach initial operational capability in the first quarter of FY-24, and full operational capability in the first quarter of FY-25:

Joint counter-UAS training academy at Ft. Sill on track to begin in first quarter of FY-24

The Army is set to transition its joint counter-UAS training from Yuma Proving Ground, AZ to Ft. Sill, OK starting in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, according to a service spokesman.

The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration testified on Capitol Hill this week on her organization's fiscal year 2024 budget request:

Workforce still a roadblock to NNSA's 2030 goal of 80 pits per year, administrator says

Skilled and craft worker hiring and retention remain the biggest hurdle to reaching the National Nuclear Security Administration's nuclear pit production goals, Administrator Jill Hruby told Congress Wednesday.

By Dan Schere
May 4, 2023 at 10:07 AM

The Army has awarded a contract potentially worth up to $7.2 billion for the Javelin Missile System to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, the service announced Wednesday.

Javelin is a “fire and forget” missile that has a lock-on-before-launch capability, according to the Army. The missile system is capable of executing attacks against armored vehicles, buildings, close-in targets and obstructed targets. It also contains an imaging infrared seeker and tandem warhead.

The contract announced Wednesday is for procurement and production support for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and other nations, according to a press release. The contract is for fiscal year 2023 through FY-26 with a base period executed for just over $1 billion, and is ultimately worth up to $7.2 billion.

The Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act gave the Pentagon permission to use multiyear authorities for multiple weapon systems deemed critical for supporting Ukraine, and to aid Taiwan in a potential conflict with China.

Army Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Doug Bush noted in a statement Wednesday that the service and industry are trying to shorten the production lead time for Javelin.

“This contract award further illustrates the urgency the U.S. government is applying to the acquisition of systems and replenishing munitions stockpiles,” he said.

By Tony Bertuca
May 3, 2023 at 3:48 PM

The Defense Department today announced a $300 million security assistance package for Ukraine, including additional ammunition for long-range artillery systems.

The package, funded via presidential “drawdown” authority, will transfer weapons directly from U.S. stocks and is the 37th such action since August 2021.

The package includes:

• Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);

• 155mm Howitzers;

• 155mm artillery rounds;

• 120mm, 81mm, and 60mm mortar rounds;

• Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;

• AT-4 and Carl Gustaf anti-armor weapon systems;

• Hydra-70 aircraft rockets;

• Small arms and small arms ammunition;

• Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing;

• Trucks and trailers to transport heavy equipment;

• Testing and diagnostic equipment to support vehicle maintenance and repair;

• Spare parts and other field equipment.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are preparing to mount a spring counteroffensive against invading Russian troops that have fortified their positions in the eastern region of the country.

Gen. Christopher Cavoli, chief of U.S. European Command and NATO, said April 26 that Ukraine has nearly all the weapons it requires to commence the operation.

“According to the modeling that we’ve very carefully done with them, the Ukrainians are in a good position,” he said. “I am very confident that we have delivered the materiel that they need and we’ll continue a pipeline to sustain their operations as well.”

By John Liang
May 3, 2023 at 2:19 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from senior service leaders testifying on Capitol Hill about their fiscal year 2024 budget requests.

Senior Navy officials testified on Capitol Hill this week and last about shipbuilding plans and missile stockpiles:

Sullivan calls lack of FY-24 amphib plan 'unacceptable'

Navy leaders faced criticism Tuesday from lawmakers over why the service's fiscal year 2024 budget fails to fund 31 amphibious warships -- as required by law -- and why the 30-year shipbuilding plan does not offer a blueprint for rebuilding the fleet.

Del Toro: Navy needs larger missile stockpiles in the Pacific

The Navy lacks sufficient quantities of long-range precision fires stockpiled in the Pacific, according to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, who expressed concern over China's growing missile inventory in the region.

Initial operational capability for the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II program is still on track for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023, even though operational testing wasn't completed in the second quarter, as scheduled:

SDB II glide bomb on target for IOC in FY-23

The Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) will be fielded aboard the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet this year, where it will undergo more tests after experiencing delays from software changes to improve weapons-aircraft integration.

The Army's top civilian official testified this week before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee:

Wormuth says major decisions about force restructuring would occur in 2025

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told lawmakers Tuesday that in the wake of ongoing recruiting challenges, 2025 would be the timeframe when the service would need to make decisions about significant force restructuring.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown this week discussed the status of his service transitioning to the E-7 Wedgetail early warning aircraft:

Air Force working to speed fielding of full E-7 Wedgetail fleet

The Air Force will send dozens of airmen to Australia this year to train on the E-7 Wedgetail to help the service prepare for fielding that aircraft in fiscal year 2027, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown told lawmakers Tuesday.

By Tony Bertuca
May 3, 2023 at 11:15 AM

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with detailed schedule information.)

The House Armed Services Committee will convene to mark up its annual defense authorization bill May 23, with subcommittees meeting May 11 and 12.

During the marathon mark-up session, lawmakers are expected to debate, among many other things, a topline budget increase to President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 request for national defense that currently stands at $886.4 billion, with $842 billion specifically for the Defense Department.

Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) has said the request, which would be a .08% increase above what Congress enacted for FY-23, is too small to keep pace with China’s ongoing military modernization and deter Russia.

Meanwhile, the defense topline debate will play out amid broader partisan disagreements over spending and raising the federal debt limit to avoid default.

The committee has released a detailed schedule:

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation

at 9:00am ET

(Rayburn – 2118 – Open)

Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

10:00am ET

(Rayburn – 2212 – Open)

Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces

at 11:00am ET

(Rayburn – 2118 – Open)

Subcommittee on Military Personnel

at 12:00pm ET

(Rayburn – 2212 – Open)

Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces

at 1:00pm ET

(Rayburn – 2118 – Open)

Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations

at 3:00pm ET

(Rayburn – 2212 – Open)

Friday, May 12

Subcommittee on Readiness

at 8:30am ET

(Rayburn – 2118 – Open)

Tuesday, May 23

Full Committee Markup

at 10:00am ET

(Rayburn – 2118 – Open)

By John Liang
May 2, 2023 at 2:29 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on mine countermeasures, cybersecurity, Army rotorcraft and more.

Littoral Combat Ships are one step closer to being able to deploy with mine warfare gear onboard:

Navy declares IOC for LCS mine countermeasures mission package

The Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission package has achieved initial operational capability, clearing the way for the Navy to field the new suite of unmanned MCM capabilities designed to keep sailors out of harm's way.

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on the Pentagon's cybersecurity efforts:

Pentagon proposes expansion of voluntary cyber info-sharing program for defense industrial base

The Defense Department has issued a proposed rule to expand its Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity information-sharing program to include more contractors who hold sensitive data for the services and DOD agencies, in response to an increased interest in wider community participation.

More coverage from last week's Quad-A conference:

Army, industry envisioning future of legacy aircraft

NASHVILLE, TN -- Army and industry leaders continue to express a commitment to continuing the service's enduring aircraft fleets such as Black Hawks, Apaches and Chinooks for several more decades.

Northrop Grumman announced this week that the Integrated Air and Missile Defense program had achieved initial operational capability:

Army declares 'game-changing' IBCS operational, major milestone seven years late

The Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense program has passed muster with the Army's top air defender and head of Forces Command, clearing the way for the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) -- which began in 2009 and fought termination after major developmental failures -- to begin operational fielding.

Iris Ferguson, deputy assistant under secretary of defense for arctic and global resilience, told Inside Defense this week that "given its strategic location, the Arctic is a potential avenue for expanded great power competition and aggression":

U.S. concerned China will partner with Russia to push Arctic goals

Protecting U.S. navigational rights and freedoms in Arctic waterways is key to keeping the Arctic region stable and secure, as thawing ice opens sea lanes and yields growing geopolitical competition for access to minerals critical to defense systems and other smart technologies, according to a Pentagon official.

By Tony Bertuca
May 2, 2023 at 2:24 PM

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the Defense Department would face severe consequences if Congress and the White House remain stalemated and allow the federal government to default on the nation's debt.

“The short answer to your question is it would be devastating,” Kendall told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today.

“I think most people would predict a severe recession at least,” he said. “Going forward, one of the biggest parts of the federal budget is the interest on the debt. If those interest rates go up -- which is what happens to you when you default, if you can borrow money at all -- then that expense becomes much greater. The interest on the debt is already roughly at the level of the defense budget.”

Kendall also said news of U.S. default would likely be welcome news among military planners in Beijing.

“Obviously, anything that damages us would be a benefit to China,” he said. “For any creditor to default on their debt causes a number of reactions. It's more expensive for you to get money. Your creditors aren't as willing to lend money. All the economists I've seen suggest it will be an absolutely devastating impact.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has sent a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warning that the United States could be unable to pay its debts “as early as June 1” if Congress does not agree to increase the federal government’s borrowing limit, urging lawmakers to “act as soon as possible.”

But the clock is ticking, especially in the House, which has 12 legislative days left in May and is in recess this week.

McCarthy said last month at the New York Stock Exchange that defaulting on the debt is “not an option” but will not support any effort to increase the debt limit until congressional Democrats and the White House agree to significant spending cuts.

President Biden and senior Democrats in Congress, however, have rejected the spending cuts, which would lock discretionary spending at levels not seen since fiscal year 2022. Biden has invited McCarthy and other congressional leaders to the White House for a May 9 meeting on the debt limit.

By Tony Bertuca
May 2, 2023 at 2:02 PM

The Defense Department is sending 1,500 active-duty troops for a 90-day mission to help assist the Department of Homeland Security at the southwestern border, according to the Pentagon's chief spokesman.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement that DOD would deploy the troops at the request of DHS to “supplement” U.S. Customs and Border Protection efforts.

“For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel will fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry and warehouse support, until CBP can address these needs through contracted support,” Ryder said.

Military personnel “will not directly participate in law enforcement activities,” he said.

“This deployment to the border is consistent with other forms of military support to DHS over many years,” according to Ryder.

There are already 2,500 National Guard troops already assisting DHS at the border and the past three presidential administrations have sent U.S. troops there. But the latest deployment comes in advance of the May 11 expiration of a law permitting the United States to deny asylum and immigration claims on the grounds of public health, which could set off a new migration surge.

Ryder said during a press conference that the deployments will not impact the readiness of the active-duty force, though DOD is assessing other options for eventually replacing them with troops from the reserve or Guard forces.

By Tony Bertuca
May 2, 2023 at 1:35 PM

The Defense Department is reviewing its in-person and telework policies following the roll back of COVID-19 federal emergency requirements, according to a new DOD-wide memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.

“Department leaders are reviewing the new [Office of Management and Budget] guidance to determine how it will affect the department and its posture related to in-person and telework,” Hicks said. “Over the next 60 days we will also review and update (as required) the department' s Work Environment Plan. This review will be data-driven and informed by the wealth of experience the department gained with work environment flexibilities required by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Hicks says DOD’s approach will be “grounded in continuing efforts to understand and embrace the future of work to ensure our department is a leading employer in its endeavor to maximize both performance and employee satisfaction.”

The review will be led by the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness in coordination with the chief improvement office.

Hicks notes DOD’s workforce “has demonstrated both extraordinary commitment and incredible flexibility” over the past three years, with most employees returning to in-person work and complying with the department’s current telework policy, which predates the pandemic.

“The department, given its national security mission, kept its offices open during the pandemic,” she said. “The department, and our workforce, embraced new work environments -- ones that took us out of a physical office when appropriate,” she said. “Many members of our Total Force continued, or quickly returned to, their in-person work to ensure mission success.”

DOD last month announced that, in accordance with President Biden's termination of the national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, the department would be ending several contracting and acquisition policies aimed at mitigating damage to the U.S. defense industrial base, including increased progress payment rates for large contractors.

By Shelley K. Mesch
May 2, 2023 at 9:22 AM

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will build four MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones for Taiwan under a foreign military sales contract worth up to $217.6 million, according to a Defense Department contract notice posted Monday.

To procure the four uncrewed aircraft as well as two Certifiable Ground Control Stations, spares and support equipment, $107 million was obligated at the time of the award, according to the notice.

Work on the systems, which will be done in California, is expected to be completed in early May 2025, the post states.

By Apurva Minchekar
May 1, 2023 at 5:11 PM

The Space Force and other agencies will host an industry day in Colorado Springs, CO on its proposed National Space Test and Training Complex idea from June 22 to June 23, according to a recent notice posted by the Air Force.

The industry day aims to share information on the NSTTC system concept, acquisition strategy and projected timelines.

According to the notice, the NSTTC is an effort led by Space Training and Readiness Command in partnership with Space Systems Command and the Space Force Office of Test and Evaluation, that comprises an electromagnetic spectrum range, cyber range, orbital range and digital complex.

The NSTTC also supports the development of new joint multidomain operating concepts and integrates joint mission partners.

“For the services, STARCOM will train Guardians on the NSTTC to effectively execute their missions in support of named operations and tasked numbered Operations Plans, deliberately developing Guardians for their primary roles of in-domain space warfighters and joint combat enablers,” the Space Force said when it unveiled its plan for the training range in a vision document late last year.

In addition, it will also provide space forces with realistic, threat-informed test and training environments to enhance their ability to analyze and respond to current and future threats within a joint warfighting context, according to the document.

NSTTC's vision is to provide space warfighters interconnected, scalable, and distributed physical and digital ranges for full spectrum test and training, which will help to develop, validate and sharpen joint warfighting solutions in conflict, states the vision document. It focuses on four areas: Service Capability, Joint Applicability, Integrated Test and Threat Replication.