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MG Kimbery Crider, Space Force CTIO, Discusses Digital Service Offerings; Mark Esper Quoted

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MG Kimberly Crider, acting chief technology and innovation officer (CTIO) of the Space Force, recently discussed the initiatives of the U.S. Space Force, stating that the agency will be a “digital service” on the leading edge of technology, SpaceNews reported on Friday.

“Our goal is to be the first digital service by design, to be born digital as we stand up at this new service,” says Crider. “We want to utilize digital technologies and digital capabilities in all the things that we do and we want to develop a digital workforce.”

The Space Force, created the Chief Technology Innovation Office (CTIO), will ensure that technology and innovation are primary focal points of the agency to attract quality talent. The agency will use digital engineering to develop its future Space Force’s tech-heavy vision to overcome obstacles. 

Josh Marcuse, head of strategy and innovation at Google Cloud, said that the Space Force digital service will have to rethink how tech talent is valued and recognized.

“Coders are the fighter jocks of the Space Force,” he says. The ability to deliver software fast and manage data are key capabilities that will give space forces a competitive advantage, Marcuse adds. The future space generals are going to be the “individuals who understand how the entire system is networked, how the network impacts the entire mission.”

In June 2020, Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, released the Defense Space Strategy, which has identified how the Department of Defense (DoD) will advance spacepower to be able to compete and win in a complex security environment. 

“The Defense Space Strategy is the next step to ensure space superiority and to secure the Nation’s vital interests in space now and in the future,” said Esper. “We desire a secure, stable, and accessible space domain that underpins our Nation’s security, prosperity and scientific achievement.” 

Through the strategy, DoD will advance spacepower with three new objectives, including Maintain Space Superiority; Provide Space Support to National, Joint, and Combined Operations; and Ensure Space Stability.

In addition, the department will pursue four priority lines of effort to address identified threats, opportunities, and challenges, including building a comprehensive military advantage in space; integrating military spacepower into national, joint, and combined operations; shape the strategic environment; and cooperate with allies, partners, industry and federal departments and agencies.

“We have to implement enterprise-wide changes to policies, strategies, operations, investments, capabilities, and expertise for this new strategic environment. This strategy identifies a phased approach on how we are going to achieve the desired conditions in space over the next 10 years,” Esper added.