Space could be a battleground. This idea is more or less a commentary on the current state of emerging affairs in aerospace; if we are to maintain our presence in space, we need some conscientious brand of ‘space situational awareness’ that all the players around the table can agree on.
“Space is not a sanctuary…it is a war fighting domain,” U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Mark Baird said in a panel at the Defense One Tech Summit in July.
In today’s high-tech warfare environment we take technology for granted, as Gen. Baird believes, and that the ability of the military (see: ‘Space Corps’) and Congress to obtain resources is lacking.
“In terms of terrified, we have to prepare to protect the nation. It is a big task that we’re rushing to make sure we’re ready,” said Baird. “The last 20 years we just launched our missions–the world is changing, but we should change the tense: the world has changed.”
Our nation’s increased use and dependency on satellite and anti-satellite technology for commercial and military use has necessitated the development of effective policies and doctrines for the control of space, prompting questions about probing planets and proliferating the space superiority enterprise.
“It is a good sign because people are now focusing on this problem that we have–we are recognizing across all sectors of the government that we need to be ready, poised and postured so we can protect the nation,” he said.
As the Director of Space Programs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition in Washington D.C., Baird is responsible for a multi-billion dollar budget–a multifarity of defense directives in the planning, development, testing, deployment and continuation of space capabilities–working to stay ahead of the curve across a wide spectrum from the Pentagon to the people.
“Without question, the United States has become increasingly reliant on space. Both economically and militarily, our dependence on space assets is undeniable. Orbiting satellites provide a myriad of services that we have become dependent on, such as precise position, navigation, and timing (PNT); communications; weather data; missile warning; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).”
But don’t get too excited, he says with a grin, as men and women that might not be riding rockets into battle anytime soon. Yet.
Commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1989, Baird was appointed to Brigadier General in 2014, receiving the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit award for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the United States and the War on Terror.“ During his career, he has served in a variety of positions, including contingency contracting officer, program manager and squadron commander.
Brigadier General Baird will be addressing the Potomac Officer’s Club as a keynote speaker at the 2017 Space: Innovations, Programs, and Policies Summit to be held Oct. 18, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, VA.