Space Force general eyes growth, progress on new force design in service's third year

By Courtney Albon / December 15, 2021 at 2:30 PM

As the Space Force approaches the beginning of its third year as an independent military service, Staff Director Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno said today she hopes the service begins to deliver results from the new processes and structure it’s been designing the past two years.

“I hope I’m able to say that in year three, you’ll see us really putting our tires on the track and just really moving out and delivering the things that we’ve been thinking about and working on and designing,” Armagno said during a virtual Washington Space Business Roundtable event.

More specifically, Armagno indicated the service may publicly unveil the missile warning and tracking force design it developed this year through the Space Warfighting Analysis Center, adding that the SWAC would continue its evaluation for other mission areas.

The service will also likely take steps toward growing, Armagno said, noting that the 300 personnel working as headquarters staff is less than half what the service needs.

“We’re going to stay lean, agile and mission-focused, but we need more than 300 people to do it on the headquarters staff,” Armagno said. “You’ll see us grow not necessarily in terms of volume, but in terms of capability.”

Armagno noted she would also like to see the service and the Biden administration make more progress transitioning the space traffic management mission from the Defense Department to the Commerce Department, saying the slowed momentum on the effort is counter to the Space Force’s “go fast” mantra.

“I think we all need to be demanding customers. . . . And I think the American people should be demanding customers as well,” Armagno said. “We’re not necessarily satisfied with the pace, understanding there are a lot of things to consider and work out.”

Highlighting plans to transfer the Space Development Agency into the Space Force next fall, Armagno said that transition will help the service better work with commercial companies both to leverage capability and to build better processes for moving quickly to develop and field capabilities.

“I call it . . . hacking commercial -- basically trying to figure out what commercial companies, how they can move so quickly and trying to capitalize on some of their innovation and inventiveness and bring it to the hands of operational warfighters.”