Space Architecture and Integration
Space Architecture and Integration -- Challenges for the
to the 19th National Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado,
April 10, 2003, by General John P. Jumper, Air Force chief of staff.
Our thoughts today are with all those tens of thousands
soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines we watch with baited breath, minute to
minute, right now on live TV, hour after hour. It's amazing how addictive it is.
It gives us all a sense, even if you've never had anything to do with people in
uniform before, of how magnificent this military is that we are a part of, and I
couldn't be more proud to be a part of them.
We haven't seen much about airmen, however, because the
embedded reporters out there aren't allowed to be in many of the places where
airmen are; and if they are, they aren't allowed to report it as generously as
they are about other things that are going on. That's okay.
We started our work in the air component back in June of last
year, and between June and March we actually flew about 4,000 sorties against
the integrated air defense system in Iraq and against surface-to-air missiles
and their command and control. By the time we got to March, we think that they
were pretty much out of business. It's been a remarkable thing from the very
first minutes of the war to see how the Iraqi air force threw their hands up and
said "I give up." That's a good thing. They didn't want to get their butt kicked
like they did last time. It's also because we managed to take out quite a bit of
their capability before the main fight even started.
Today we have about 40,000 airmen among 300,000 or so total
that are deployed throughout the AOR. The Air Force has been in 36 locations
around the area since the beginning of this. We've flown some 14,000 sorties on
top of the 85,000 or so we've flown over Afghanistan. We've seen not only the
combat portion of this but we've also seen the airlifters, and we've seen the
tanker force. We have more than 200 tankers deployed. If there's a piece of ramp
anywhere, there's a tanker sitting on it that enables this global power that we
And we look at the changes over the years. Think about it.
When we were sitting where we were about 10 or 12 years ago, and you read the
press reports about where we were going to be at the turn of the century, most
of the consensus was by the turn of the century the United States would be a
second rate economic power. The news was not very encouraging. And who had ever
heard of a place like Kosovo? And who ever thought we'd be in a war in Iraq? And
who could name one or even two of the "'stans?" We've now been to all those
places. We can achieve victory in situations that nobody could have predicted.
Consider what's gone on just in the last couple of years
since we've seen the kid on the horse, Staff Sergeant Lienhard, on the ground on
a horse with a laptop computer bouncing off the saddle horn, and a tripod laser
scope mounted on the butt of the horse. You stop and set that stuff up and
you're getting the precise coordinates of targets and shooting them up with
B-52s at 39,000 feet in the sky, and the B-52s deliver a Global Positioning
System-guided bomb within about 800 meters of Sergeant Lienhard's position. What
do you call that? You call it close air support.
Curtis E. LeMay is rolling over in his grave at the thought
of a B-52 from 39,000 feet doing close air support. We bought those airplanes to
go halfway around the world to the old Soviet Union and drop nuclear weapons.
Those kids in those B-52s are used to taking off and not talking to anybody. Now
they're gabbing up there with Sergeant Lienhard. What's that all about?
But the kids find out what they need to do and they put it
together. The first night of the war saw the employment of cruise missiles and
two F-117s. These kids flying those planes were waking up from a dead sleep.
They were given their targets, and they took off into Iraq. It was an incredibly
short amount of time from the time of wakeup from a dead sleep until the bomb
impacted the target. And give a lot of credit to the Navy here too, because they
were able to do the reprogramming of these cruise missiles in ways that during
Desert Storm we couldn't even have thought about doing in the amount of time
they did it.
And the other day a B-1 bomber sits out there in an orbit.
And it's in an orbit because we put it there to deal with the emerging target
problem. There's a B-1 that sits out there in an orbit for three or four hours.
It waits to see what is happening. They get a call, saying "This is what we need
you to go do." It's got three bomb bays worth of stuff and it's got something
different in each bomb bay. You program it in there. Ten minutes from the time
they get the word they've got bombs on the target.
We couldn't even have thought about that just a few years ago.
In Desert Storm we had to load the Air Tasking Order on a Navy cargo plane every
day and fly it down to the aircraft carrier because we had no means to
electronically transmit it from the shore to the ships at sea. This was a
pitiful testimony, back then, to jointness.
Now how do we do it? Who makes it possible? It's you who sit
before me here today. Without space, we don't get the coordinates to the B-1, we
don't get the space shot due to the GPS, we don't get those going to the B-52,
and we don't locate the downed crewmembers. We don't do any of it without coming
from or going through space.
A note of irony, let me point out to you we did find the GPS
jammers around Baghdad and, just to show off a little bit, we bombed them with
GPS bombs. I think whoever built them has a redesign right now. Again, it's
testimony to the industry that makes these things happen.
Today in the Combined Air Operations Center you have warriors
standing around the table selecting targets, and some of those warriors are
space warriors. They're face to face with the kinetic warriors, and they're
doing whatever it takes to make sure that we figure out how to get bombs on
targets. And more and more these space warriors are taking a bigger role in our
minute to minute activities. None of this happens without the space warriors we
have in all of our services.
You talk to the guys in the Navy and their ships at sea and
you don't have enough fiber optic cable dragging behind the ship. No, you've got
to come through space. You talk to the Army guys, with all the situation
awareness, all the intelligence and the planning stuff they need to do their job
on the battlefield, and where does it come through? It comes through
connectivity from space. We want the Army and the Air Force space teams to team
up to get those pictures of the burning oil fields so we could get those out to
the public as quickly as we could. All of these things are becoming routine.
For the Air Force, go into the Combined Air Operations Center,
and see the integration that's going on so we can do things like redirect that
B-1 where it needs to be in near real time. It gets better every single day. I
look at it and I still shake my head because I'm not happy with it yet. We're 10
percent of where we've got to be. It's going to get better when we understand
the two buzzwords of this decade. One of them is "integration" and the other one
We've got to work this integration at the machine-to-machine
level. The problem we have is that we all tend to be heavy equipment operators.
We're tied to our platforms. It tends to be all types of airplanes, all types of
bombers, all types of transporters, all types of satellites. And we've got to
learn to think in terms of integration so that the sum of the systems all put
together between air, land, sea and space, ends up with a cursor over the
I stand in front of audiences and, sometimes, I say, OK, at
some point the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) satellite needs to talk
directly to digital weapons aboard other platforms in the air, on the land or at
sea. And the very thought to some, not to all, but to some, of an NRO signal
coming down and being dispensed to somebody other than an NRO tribal
representative is unthinkable.
But when you think about it, it makes sense. Why do we go to
the trouble of printing out the image? It's so that analog eyeballs can
interpret it. But what if the digits were able to contact seamlessly the digits
from the signals intelligence or the synthetic aperture radar or the imaging
infrared? Imagine if that could happen. You could probably decide exactly what
that target was in a matter of a few seconds instead of tribal representatives
having to interpret the tribal hieroglyphics to the other tribe.
We're going to do this. This is going to happen. It takes a
new way to think about it, and the way that we're pushing to think about this
thing is this whole notion of the concept of operations. It's when we first
start talking about how we're going to fight the war before we start talking
about who we're going to fight. We're going to do this in a joint way. We're
going to let this lead the way for our actions in the future.
Now, a lot of people get disturbed when I say that some of
the wisdom of our manned, unmanned and space systems ends up in the cursor over
the target. They think that I'm thinking about killing the target. Well, a lot
of the time I am. But you can also put the cursor over the target that you want
to save, and the humanitarian effort is the same set of platforms that come
together to make sure you provide humanitarian relief. It's the same set of
platforms that enables you to put the cursor over the target so you can learn
more about that target. It's the same set of platforms that allows you to
transition from what I call the Z minus 365, the ability to collect, analyze and
report during normal day to day routine, and then, when you get closer to the
engagement phase, to transition that same group of platforms into a combat mode.
And they can shift seamlessly back and forth depending on the priority at the
Why don't we do that now? We should be doing that now. That's
where we need to go. That's my challenge to this group and that's my challenge
to the requirements side and to the acquisition side of our United States Air
Force as we try to forge our way ahead in this complex world we live in.
The other part is persistence. Here's where we need to team
up. We need to team up just like we did in the integration phase. We need to
team up the air and space so that we can put things on the battlefield that can
stare for long periods of time and do it anywhere that we want to look.
Where we're getting experience with this is, in addition to
satellites that can look and stare, is with unmanned aerial vehicles. We have
UAVs in orbits for 24 hours, staring at targets for long periods of time. That's
having a profound impact on the way we're able to get the close-up looks, the
patterns and targets of enemy activity, and the rapid lash-ups of target
execution. That's this notion of persistence.
And you trade off persistence in the air for persistence in
space, taking advantage of the high fidelity that you can get from the air and
maybe less fidelity from space, so that you can have persistence all the time,
24 hours a day. We've got to work those kinds of architectures so we always have
something there. There's a way to do this. And they complement one another --
they don't compete with one another.
Finally, there's the increasing need for responsiveness.
We're already pretty rapid at some things, but we're not rapid enough. I get a
lot of questions back home. "Jumper, what's the next generation of bomber?" I
refuse to talk about the next generation of bomber. What I do talk about is the
next generation of long-range strike technology. Because I don't know what it's
going to be yet. We'll be deciding that soon. My assumption is that it's either
in or through space, and you can get it anywhere on the surface of the globe in
hours or minutes, not days. And once it gets there it can do just about anything
you want it to do. That's a pretty tall order. But what I'm not going to give
into is solutions that are looking for problems. We will think this thing
through and come up with the right combination of technology to get the job done
that we need to get done. We'll be working on that in cooperation with Office of
the Secretary of Defense here over the next few months as we get ready for the
next POM (program objective memorandum) cycle.
All the technology, all the brilliance represented in this
room, all of it comes down right now, at least for the time being, to winning
wars on the ground. I represent people in uniform, and I stand up here as a
member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representing people in all uniforms, not
just the Air Force. But I talk about airmen because they're the ones that I know
best. And it's always helpful, I think, to put a human face on our business.
I get to travel around and I get to meet these magnificent
young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines all over the world that are doing
the nation's business in such a spectacular way. It's a fun thing to do, and all
the senior people here in uniform can tell the same story no matter what service
they're in. A fun thing to do if you're an Air Force general is to go down to
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas on a Friday. On Fridays we graduate 1,000 new
airmen into our Air Force, every Friday. It's a fun thing to do. You watch the
parade. They march by and they're all newly minted airmen and they're all very
proud of themselves.
The fun thing to do is to sit back and watch as the
youngsters get back to their parents after their parents haven't seen them for
several weeks. You'll see the same thing every single time. Something like an
airman in his or her bright new uniform, standing in front of his or her mom
saying, "Mom, it's me. It is me." The dad standing back saying, "That ain't the
same kid I brought here. This kid's standing up straight. This kid's saying
ma'am and sir. The kid I brought here looked like he fell down the steps with a
tackle box in his hand with a pierced ear and pierced eye and a pierced lip."
And you talk to these youngsters. The stories you hear are
magnificent. "You know, sir, this is the first time anybody's ever told me they
were proud of me." Or. "This is the first time I've ever felt like I've
accomplished something." These kids come from all walks of life. They were
brought up on Beavis and Butthead and the Simpsons. They were taught to
disrespect anything that smacked of institutional values. But you expose them to
a little pride and respect and they're as patriotic and dedicated and committed
as any generation that ever served.
It's not just a manifestation of recent times, either. I was
a wing commander at Eglin Air Force Base (Fla.). I had a wing full of F-15s.
We're sitting there in the middle of an ORI (operational readiness inspection) (actually,
we just finished with phase one), sitting around in our chem gear. We'd
generated 71 out of 72 airplanes in less than the required time, and we're
sitting there patting ourselves on the back, saying "71 out of 72, that's pretty
damn good." And someone comes out and says, "You know, I think we'll just call
the whole thing off, we've got it made." Then the Chief of Maintenance comes in
and says, "Sir, don't call this thing off. You've got to come out here and see
what I'm seeing." We get in the car and drive out there. That 72nd F-15 was
there, the crew chief was a young staff sergeant, and the airplane with the
problem was his. When we got out there they had put a tow truck under this F-15,
and there's about eight or 10 people pushing this F-15 over to the running stand
because they had to run the engine up before they could find out the discrepancy.
We jumped out of the car and started pushing too, and people were piling on, and
I'm saying, Push it fast enough, I know it will fly! But that young staff
sergeant was frantic. He was not going to be the only airplane in the whole wing
that didn't generate. It wasn't going to happen. So people are piling on here,
and we get this thing hooked up, and most people don't even know what's going
on. And they hook this thing up and run the engine up and they get it signed off
with the discrepancy with a few minutes left to go. By the time that happened
there were 5,000 people there. The whole wing was out there. Then a cheer went
up and it sounded like the Super Bowl. Your Air Force. These kids do this all
The final story I want to tell is one about Senior Airman
Jason Cunningham. Senior Airman Cunningham was one of three Air Force guys in an
Army helicopter going into Roberts' Ridge in Afghanistan during Operation
Anaconda. He was a pararescueman stationed at Moody AFB in Georgia. As they went
in to land on Roberts' Ridge -- they're actually going in to find the Navy SEALs
that were brought to the same place earlier -- the helicopter gets shot down and
they crash. They're surrounded 360 degrees by bad guys. They're taking fire.
Senior Airman Cunningham begins pulling out the wounded and tries to get them
away from the helicopter. They're completely surrounded and the other Air Force
kids onboard are combat controllers and they start calling in air strikes as
quick as they can get them in there. But as time passes more and more get
wounded and Senior Airman Cunningham gets a mortal wound himself.
I went to Kirtland AFB, N.M., and presented his wife the Air
Force Cross Senior Airman Cunningham earned. The Army guys that were on that
helicopter were all there. Big strapping Army Rangers and they all had tears
running down their cheeks and they said, "You know, as Cunningham knew he was
dying he told us what to do to take care of the rest of these guys so they
wouldn't die too."
I, along with Secretary Roche, presented that Air Force Cross
to Theresa Cunningham. Theresa's his wife. They've got two small children under
three years of age. She's 23 years old. She's enrolled in Valdosta State College
out there where Moody AFB is, she's in an ROTC unit, and she's coming into the
Air Force this summer.
That's what we do this for. When we talk about this
integration, this ability to be able to get things. If we had gotten to that
place quicker we could have saved Senior Airman Cunningham. We will study this
war we're in right now, and we will find things we could have done better and
quicker and we will make ourselves better, because we're a lot better now than
we were even in the Afghanistan War.
It's useful to remember that with all this technology and all
the emphasis on architecture, what it really comes down to is that we're saving
lives. That's the business we're in, and that's where the payoff is.
So again I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here.
Let me thank you for all you do to bring the magnificent technology that is
essential for our warfighters, and all the talent that you all bring to bear on
this problem of integration and persistence. The future is in space. And we will
migrate over the coming years the appropriate capabilities as soon as we can get
there, with the appropriate cautions that we've got to be able to protect
ourselves, and we've got to be sure that we don't give into vulnerabilities as
we go along.
I thank each and every one of you. I thank the companies and
the services you represent. I say may God bless each and every one of you and
may God bless our United States of America.
Thank you all very much.