Air Force leads innovation at 34th Space Symposium

  • Published
  • By A1C Michael D. Mathews
  • 460th SW/PA

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -“Ladies and gentlemen, it is an exciting time to be an Airman,” said Gen. David L. Goldfein, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, during his keynote address at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Goldfein was one of many leaders who attended the space symposium in April, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson. Leaders from various countries also attended the symposium to speak about the future of space and innovation

“The budget that President Trump signed into law last month reflects our administration’s confidence that NASA will lead the nation as we embark on new journeys to far-off places,” Pence said during his speech to kick off the symposium.

During the symposium key leaders discussed a number of projects and innovations that are in the works, including exploration missions to new planets, space tourism and space-based systems that provide eyes and ears to America’s warfighters as they defend the United States and our allies.

Many of these space-based systems, which directly impact how the United States will lead the fight in the space domain, are operated by the Airmen of the 460th Space Wing at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. 

The 460th SW, the world’s premier space wing, consists of combat-ready Airmen providing warning, surveillance and installation operations for America and our allies. The wing, whose space mission falls directly under the 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command, plays a vital role to winning in the space domain.

“The best way to win is not to fight,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, 14th Air Force commander, during a panel discussion on warfare that extends into space. “The best way not to fight is to prepare, so that no adversary would ever dare to make a challenge against us.”

Buckley AFB is one of the few bases that connects directly with U.S. satellites for the purpose of missile detection. This is a key component to gaining and maintaining space superiority because it prepares the United States to detect and prevent catastrophic actions such as nuclear launches attempted by foreign enemies.

The United States has more satellites, including the ones operated by Buckley AFB Airmen, in orbit than any other country. These satellites produce live imagery, communication for our Airmen and detect any abnormal objects that enter and exit our Earth’s atmosphere. These capabilities are handled by U.S. Airmen.

 “The future of military space remains in confident and competent hands with our Airmen. Always the predator. Never the prey. We own the high ground,” Goldfein concluded.