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Space-based intelligence gathering


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Interesting story on initiatives by the US Air Force that will affect NORAD, Canadian defence,
and missile defence (BMD).


The U.S. military on Saturday launched a five-day war game to see how space-based assets such as satellite communications and precision bomb guidance systems would fare in a hypothetical war against terrorism in 2020.

"This is not warfare in space. Our focus is how to best use our space-based assets to coordinate the joint terrestrial fight," said Brig. Gen. Daniel Darnell, commander of the Space Warfare Center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has come to rely to a huge extent on satellites to relay communications, transmit high-resolution imagery; track U.S. forces; spot enemy missiles and guide precision munitions to their targets.

The classified tabletop war game, the third focused primarily on space, involves 250 military and civilian experts from about 20 federal agencies, and officials from Canada, Australia and Britain, all gathered at the isolated base on the plains east of Colorado Springs.

The game will pit friendly "blue" forces against enemy "red" forces, including state and non-state actors, some wielding weapons of mass destruction, Darnell said.

The first space-based war game, which took place in January 2001 focused on growing tensions between the United States and China in 2017. A second war game was held in February 2003.

The Air Force, conscious of growing budget pressures on military spending, hopes to gain insights into the best mix of assets, including space-based systems, near-space aircraft and traditional aircraft, Darnell said.