HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The US Army is developing a kit to help train soldiers to recognize when adversaries are meddling or interfering with space assets such as satellites or GPS, according to the Army Space and Missile Defense Command commanding general.
The Army’s “space kits” to be used at home station training and also at Combat Training Center rotations can “realistically replicate a jamming environment so that folks are able to understand that and be able to work through it and continue on with the mission,” Lt. Gen. David Mann said Wednesday at the Association of the US Army’s Global Force Symposium.
Mann said many people don’t often realize the Army has a large role in space, but the service provides satellite communications support for warfighters worldwide. Soldiers are operating payloads in orbit and providing bandwidth daily in support of military operations.
The Army is the biggest user of space-enabled capabilities, Mann added. Brigade combat teams, for instance, rely on space capabilities for GPS and Position, Navigation and Timing.
But training those soldiers become even more important in light of new threats. Mann quoted Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s recent testimony to highlight how space is changing. “Space was seen as a sanctuary, however, new emerging threats make clear, it’s not the case anymore. We must be prepared for the possibility of a conflict that extends to space,” he said.
Making sure soldiers are prepared to quickly recognize a problem and shut down or resolve any hostile activity is critical, according to Mann, since a heavy reliance on space capabilities exist in all walks of life from finance to communications to imagery support to running the International Space Station.
The Army is now looking to get more support for the training kits in order to field them across the formations, Mann said.
The Army is also placing experts at CTCs to make sure the scenarios that are being evaluated are realistic against “the environment our soldiers are going to be faced with the in the future," in space, Mann added.