In order for the Space Force to be able launch military payloads on demand, the service must embrace a new mindset that enables capability delivery on “tactically relevant timelines,” a senior officer said.
The service’s tactically responsive space (TacRS) effort is intended to rapidly speed up how it acquires, builds and launches national security systems into orbit — a process that normally takes several weeks or even months to complete. By doing so, the United States could immediately respond to on-orbit threats or replace space-based systems that have been targeted by an adversary.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday, Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. Michael Guetlein emphasized that the success of TacRS is not dependent on a specific hardware or technology — but rather the mindset of the Space Force.
“Tactically responsive space is about a culture shift with the United States Space Force to get the entire set of guardians thinking on tactically relevant timelines,” Guetlein said. “Everything in my psyche as a Space Force member — as a guardian — needs to be about how I provide that capability. What can I do to get it there tonight? What can I do to guarantee that it’ll be there tomorrow? And what can I be guaranteed to do to make sure I have competitive endurance in the future with a credible capability?”
The Space Force has begun a series of demonstrations that will help the service understand what changes are needed to have a persistent rapid launch capability — which it wants no later than 2026. That includes the concept of operations, acquisition authorities, training requirements, clearance processes and more, Guetlein said.
During its most recent TacRS demonstration, dubbed Victus Nox, the Space Force and its industry partners launched a satellite into space just 27 hours after the service gave orders to do so. The mission shattered the…