JFCC Space concludes Exercise Global Lightning 16
By Capt. Nicholas Mercurio, JFCC Space Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2016
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command's space component, concluded Exercise GLOBAL LIGHTNING 16, April 28.
The command and control exercise, which began April 23, is conducted annually to train Department of Defense forces, assess joint operational readiness and validate the command's ability to identify and mitigate attacks across all of USSTRATCOM's mission areas.
The notional scenario for GLOBAL LIGHTNING 2016 drove integrated planning and training for a number of strategic threats to the nation, and was coordinated for more than a year. The exercise, and those previously conducted, ensure the resilience, redundancy and survivability of U.S. strategic deterrent forces, stressing the USSTRATCOM capabilities provided to geographic combatant commanders during a crisis or contingency.
"The security environment is increasingly complex and dynamic," said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. "Exercises such as GLOBAL LIGHTNING hone USSTRATCOM's ability to anticipate change and confront uncertainty with agility and innovation. The scope and magnitude of the exercise, and the training it provides, will ensure that we are prepared to meet future threats whether they be nuclear, cyber or space-related."
In particular, GLOBAL LIGHTNING 16's immersive scenario provided opportunities for JFCC Space to exercise its ability to deliver synchronized space effects through a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.
"Consistent with our National Space Policy, we stand ready to deter interference or attack, protect and defend our space systems and contribute to the defense of allied systems, and, if necessary, defeat efforts to deny, disrupt or degrade our access to the vital space capabilities upon which the entire world relies," said Lt. Gen. David Buck, JFCC Space commander.
A highlight of JFCC Space's exercise participation was the increased role of the Commercial Integration Cell. Operating under six Cooperative Research and Development Agreements under the oversight of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the CIC is a method of pursuing greater cooperation and synergy in the space environment by integrating liaison personnel from the commercial space operator sector within the Joint Space Operations Center.
"As a fully embedded mission partner the CIC can facilitate rapid identification, diagnosis and resolution of on-orbit anomalies while also increasing the overall resilience of USG satellite operations," said Timothy Turk, Intelsat General Corporation CIC liaison.
During GLOBAL LIGHTNING 16 the CIC provided invaluable industry perspective and access to capabilities which increased the overall efficacy and resiliency of JFCC Space operations.
As the exercise concluded April 28, Buck was pleased with the progress made in critical mission areas and looked to build on those achievements moving forward.
"I am extremely proud of the effort put forth by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, DoD civilians and contractors who comprise this command every day to ensure that our armed forces, our nation and the world never have to know a day without space," Buck said.
JFCC Space is a component of USSTRATCOM and is responsible for executing continuous, integrated space operations to deliver theater and global effects in support of national and combatant commander objectives. JFCC Space coordinates space operational-level planning, integration, and coordination to ensure unity of effort in support of military and national security operations, and support to civil authorities.