Operationalizing and Integrating Space: Bridging the Cultural Barriers, Mamta Sharma, 9781288281374


This paper examines the evolution of space support and how space support has contributed to the operationalization and integration of space systems into warfighting roles, specifically at the tactical level of operations. The paper also demonstrates that the cultural mindset of the Air Force is shaped by our association with weapon systems (self-serving elitism) and not with the mission. These cultural mindsets or barriers influence the Air Force’s capability to integrate new missions to support the Air Force vision. The thesis of this paper contends that failure on the part of the Air Force to recognize and exploit the critical capabilities space provides to warfighting is driven by cultural barriers. These cultural barriers inhibit the Air Force’s efforts to fully operationalize and integrate space into theater-level operations. To defend this argument, this paper will define and analyze space contributions to theater-level operations by examining the AFSST concept of operations and successes and failures experienced during its evolution since Operation Desert Storm. The thesis will deal with two fundamental arguments. First, the most successful attempts at integrating and operationalizing space are making them organic within the theater-levels (i.e. permanent space personnel expertise and equipment located in theater with the NAFs and MAJCOMs).

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