Lt. Gen. Forrest S. Mccartney: The First Space Professional.
Air Power History 2004, Winter, 51, 4
Air Power History
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The United States is a spacefaring nation. As the nation's dependence on space continues to grow, the country needs people with the right skills to acquire, operate, and employ military space capabilities. The 2001 report of the Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization, commonly called the Space Commission (appointed by the Senate Armed Forces Committee and by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Director of Central Intelligence) identified the lack of space leadership as a critical limiting factor to a continued American advantage in space capabilities. The commission found that about one-third of the officers commanding space wings, groups and squadrons have "extensive" space experience, while the remaining two-thirds have less than 4.5 years in space-related positions. (1) The commission members, therefore, asked, "Why is there no space experience among military space professionals?" Part of the answer was that the space force was young and small. Further, the infusion of personnel with largely missile operations backgrounds had broadened career opportunities for missile launch officers without having the same corresponding effect for space professionals. This merger of the two career fields has had a negative impact on the overall experience level of space professionals because missile operations skills do not translate readily into space operation or acquisition skills. In addition, space professionals are still in demand in the commercial world, as they have been since the beginning of the military's involvement in space, draining space talent from the military. Finally, there has been a lack of focused career development in the military space community (2) Who are space professionals? In developing the Space Professional Strategy in 2004, in response to the commission report, Air Force Space Command designated three principal career paths that identified a space professional: 1) space operations, 2) missile operations, and 3) space systems acquisition. Space and missile operations involved personnel trained and certified in the employment of space and ICBM systems. Acquisitions professionals included engineers and scientists skilled in basic research, able to translate user requirements into designs, and adept at managing the development, testing, and fielding of space and ICBM systems. Some individuals entered these career paths as direct accessions, while others came from acquisitions or missile assignments. Furthermore, space professionals served not only in Air Force Space Command, but also throughout the Air Force and the joint warfighting community, the National Reconnaissance Office, and in other government agencies. (3)
- 2,99 €
- Category: Engineering
- Published: 22 December 2004
- Publisher: Air Force Historical Foundation
- Print Length: 32 Pages
- Language: English