The United States Space Force has activated its first and only unit dedicated to targeting other nations' satellites and the ground stations that support them.
The 75th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (ISRS) was activated on Aug. 11 at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado. This unit is part of Space Delta 7, an element of the U.S. Space Force tasked with providing intelligence on adversary space capabilities. It'll do things like analyze the capabilities of potential targets, locate and track these targets as well as participate in "target engagement," which presumably refers to destroying or disrupting adversary satellites, the ground stations that support them and transmissions sent between the two.
Lt. Col. Travis Anderson, who leads the squadron, said in a Space Force statement that the idea of a dedicated space targeting unit has been years in the making. "Today is a monumental time in the history of our service," Anderson said. "The idea of this unit began four years ago on paper and has probably been in the minds of several U.S. Air Force intelligence officers even longer."
The unit's patch was also unveiled at its activation ceremony, revealing it to be adorned with a grim reaper that has a delta shape for a nose. According to a Space Force statement, the delta represents "historic ties to the earliest days of the U.S. Air Force space community" as well as "all variations of space vehicles" that support the U.S. military.
Master Sgt. Desiree Cabrera, 75th ISRS operations superintendent, said the new unit will revolutionize the targeting capabilities of not just the Space Force, but also the entire U.S. military: "Not only are we standing up the sole targeting squadron in the U.S. Space Force, we are changing the way targeting is done across the joint community when it comes to space and electromagnetic warfare."
The 75th ISRS will also analyze adversary space capabilities including "counterspace force threats," according to the Space Force's statement. Counterspace forces refer to adversary systems aimed at preventing the U.S. from using its own satellites during a conflict.
These aren't limited to America's adversaries; the U.S. Space Force has conducted multiple training exercises to practice its own "live fire" satellite jamming and "simulated on-orbit combat training."
As militaries worldwide become increasingly reliant on space-based assets like navigation and communication satellites, early warning missile tracking systems and targeting sensors, the Space Force's and other nations' militaries will no doubt be increasing their abilities to monitor both defensive and offensive adversary capabilities in Earth's orbit.
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Brett is curious about emerging technologies, alternative launch concepts, anti-satellite technologies and uncrewed aircraft systems. Brett's work has appeared on Scientific American, The War Zone, Popular Science, the History Channel, Science Discovery and more. Brett has English degrees from Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In his free time, Brett enjoys skywatching throughout the dark skies of the Appalachian mountains.
This is complete insanity. They will trigger the kessler syndrome taking out ALL Earth Orbit satellites and ending any possibility of orbital or space probe launch from earth for thousands of years.Reply
This is not a kinetic program. Only hacking, jamming and blinding of cameras by ground based laser.Reply
And the Russians and Chinese have a head start on developing the technology. In particular, Russia would like to have a way to take out Starlink satellites to deny Ukraine (or it's next victim neighbor) the ability to communicate, especially the military, but they also want to control the news.Reply
The logo, geez. -_- I thought we were supposed to be the good guys...Admin said:The United States Space Force has activated its first and only unit dedicated to targeting other nations' satellites and the ground stations that support them.
US Space Force creates 1st unit dedicated to targeting adversary satellites : Read more
I agree that looks like a very unprofessional official logo. Not surprising for a bunch of hackers to dream that up. But surprising that it would be allowed by the government.wmshaksper said:The logo, geez. -_- I thought we were supposed to be the good guys...
That is not an approved emblem but a locally created patch. The unit just activated and must route their request for an official emblem through appropriate channels. Patches are derived from a unit’s officially approved emblem.Reply
It hasn’t been “approved “ by the government. All emblems route through my office. I’m curious to see when the will seek approval.Reply
To get back to the actual subject of this type of "warfare", I do have some concerns about the kessler syndrome, even when the attack is non-kinetic. Considering how many Starlink satellites there will be in the final constellation, and how often they already have to maneuver to avoid each other by the prescribed distance, it seems that just disabling a bunch of these satellites would prevent their mutual coordinated collision avoidance and lead to a cascade of collisions. Add to Starlink similar "constellations" of satellites by Russia, China, India and probably others, and coordination is going to become extremely crucial. If a couple of countries start disabling each others' constellations, I think the kessler effect is likely.Reply
Of course, that might end up in the same situation as nuclear warheads - nobody uses them, but everybody needs to have them so that nobody uses them.