DoD spokesman John Kirby: “Secretary Austin was happy to obtain a briefing concerning the house area.”
WASHINGTON — Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin final week obtained an in depth briefing on DoD house applications and nationwide safety threats within the house area. This was Austin’s first high-level briefing on house points since taking workplace.
“Secretary Austin was happy to obtain a briefing concerning the house area,” Protection Division spokesman John Kirby stated in a press release to SpaceNews.
Kirby stated he couldn’t touch upon the precise issues mentioned on the March 25 assembly however famous that Austin “understands the significance of this area to our nationwide safety.”
Austin’s briefing was led by John Hill, who’s performing the duties of assistant secretary of protection for house coverage. In attendance — some in particular person and a few by way of video teleconference — have been senior officers from the U.S. Area Pressure, U.S. Area Command and the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace.
The briefing was supposed to deliver Austin updated on house applications, the construction of the nationwide safety house enterprise and the challenges the US faces within the house area, in line with a number of sources.
The topic of China’s technological advances and house ambitions additionally have been mentioned, these sources stated.
The Biden administration has made technological competitors with China a cornerstone subject that may drive investments and coverage choices. Austin this month stood up a “China task force” of senior officers who will probably be offering suggestions on how one can meet the China problem.
In written testimony to the Senate Armed Providers Committee for his affirmation listening to, Austin famous that the “strategic surroundings continues to evolve quickly, particularly because it applies to house.” He stated as protection secretary he would assist a nationwide protection technique that addresses the “continued progress of adversary house and counterspace capabilities.” Chinese language and Russian house actions, Austin added, “current critical and rising threats to U.S. nationwide safety pursuits.”
Earlier this month Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Indo-Pacific area the place U.S. allies Japan and South Korea are rising more and more involved about China’s expansive maritime claims in addition to its technological advances in house and different areas.
Blinken stated in a speech last month that United States ought to “have interaction all nations, together with Russia and China, on creating requirements and norms of accountable habits in outer house.”
U.S. military commanders within the Indo-Pacific area have referred to as for higher investments in superior applied sciences, together with house methods, to discourage and counter China. Commanders fear about Chinese language capabilities to disrupt U.S. satellites like GPS and methods that present important communications companies.
As he prepares to submit his first price range request to Congress, Austin must stability combatant commanders’ requests for extra assets in opposition to fiscal pressures and calls to cut back army spending.