US Space Force announces "Commercial Space Strategy" to increase competitive advantage

At the 39TH Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on April 10TH, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman announced the US Space Force’s (USSF) blueprint for integrating private-sector capabilities. This blueprint, dubbed the “U.S. Space Force Commercial Space Strategy,” seeks to “drive development of more resilient and combat-capable architectures while deploying them faster, in greater numbers, and at a lower cost.” 

The Space Force will implement four lines of effort to achieve this strategy: (1) Collaborative Transparency, (2) Operational and Technical Integration, (3) Risk Management, and (4) Secure the Future. These goals in turn, will promote four guiding principles adopted in the Strategy:

  1. Balance – The USSF will appropriately balance government and commercial solutions while avoiding overreliance on any single provider or solution.  
  2. Interoperability – Military standards and procedures should strengthen interoperability between government and commercial solutions without stifling commercial sector innovation, speed, or scale; commercial standards and interfaces for future purpose-built systems will be adopted to facilitate integration when appropriate.
  3. Resilience – Integration will strengthen resilience by increasing the number of commercial providers, diversifying supply chains, and expanding the variety and number of solutions used. Selected commercial solutions must be resilient themselves, particularly against cyber threats.  
  4. Responsible Conduct – Use of solution is legally and ethically compliant and consistent with international norms and standards and the DoD Tenets of Responsible Behavior in Space.

USSF cited the 2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, with both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation having fielded reversible and non-kinetic means against the space systems of the United States and its allies and partners, as well as deployed kinetic counter-space capabilities that can target U.S. space systems in all orbital regimes, as a point of emphasis in developing the Strategy. Because of the threats faced not just by the United States, but also its allies, a key focus will be the interoperability between forces, integration of technologies, and a prioritization of how quickly the USSF can deploy the technology into the field.

Tactical surveillance, reconnaissance, and tracking; space-based environmental monitoring; positioning, navigation, and timing; and space access mobility and logistics are highlighted as the top mission areas targeted for new commercial integration. Existing areas of commercial collaboration, such as satellite communications, launch services, and space domain awareness, will continue to receive investment.

  • Brian A. Mills

    Brian is a member of Maynard Nexsen’s Government Solutions Group, a dedicated inter-disciplinary team of legal professionals providing client support and representation before multiple levels of government and at every stage ...


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