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Lt. Col. Brad Townsend: Service Branches Must Establish Own Space Control Capabilities

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Lt. Col. Brad Townsend, space operations office at the U.S. Army assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the other service branches should integrate space control systems to support the U.S. Space Force’s operations.

Townsend wrote in an op-ed published Thursday on SpaceNews that the branches must not rely on the Space Force alone to meet their respective satellite communications and space control needs due to limitations in the latter’s budget.

He noted that the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps must retain their space control capabilities to ensure that funds are allocated to address threats specific to their respective domains.

According to Lt. Col. Townsend, integrating multidomain space warfighting within the U.S. Space Command will also enable dual-use space technologies and support the retention of authorities for space control acquisition to prevent issues in inter-service coordination.

“Space control from within the space domain is a uniquely Space Force mission, but space control from other warfighting domains is not,“ he said. “This spreading of fiscal responsibility will create a healthier Department of Defense (DoD) wide response to future space threats."