General Richard Myers, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Space Command,
Following is the Pentagon transcript:
DoD News Briefing
Wednesday, January 05, 2000 - 10:45 a.m.EST
Richard Myers, General, USAF, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Space Command
Special Briefing re: Current Activities of the U.S. Space Command
Also present: Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
Mr. Bacon: Our briefer today is General Richard Myers, who is the
commander-in-chief of our Space Command in Colorado. He is a command
pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the cockpit. I don't think he's
ever flown in space, but he spends a lot of time thinking about space
General Myers: But he's willing to fly in space --
Mr. Bacon: He's willing to fly in space.
General Myers: Nobody's offered me the opportunity.
Mr. Bacon: Well, maybe we'll get you to go up with John Glenn some
time. At any rate, I'll turn you over to General Myers.
General Myers: Well, good morning, everybody, and it's -- thank you
for the opportunity, and Happy New Year. Before we start, I'd like to
just make a couple of comments and outline where we've been in space
and where we think we're heading, at least in a brief format here.
Truly, space is becoming very important to our military, a center
gravity, if you will, a very important aspect of how we conduct our
operations. It's also an economic center of gravity for this country
and I would say most people probably don't realize how important space
is to their daily lives. It is definitely, to use a phrase, a growth
industry, and I think we're just beginning to tap its potential.
I would point to Kosovo operations as a place where space was very
important in enabling our ability to conduct our response there. It
set a new benchmark. You know, since Desert Storm we've been working
very hard to bring space capabilities to the war fighter at the
operational and tactical level, and I think in Kosovo we finally got
there, even though that was limited in scope, to some degree. But we
provided, I think, unprecedented support to our forces there.
It was truly a space-enabled war. You think about the global
positioning system and the precision-guided munitions that were
GPS-aided, enabling us to do things we have not been able to do
before, and that is not just use precision-guided munitions, but use
them -- that could go through the weather, and as Admiral Ellis said,
after the conflict, that it's not good enough just to have
precision-guided munitions. You have to have munitions that can go
through the weather, because the weather was such a factor over there.
For the first time in combat, we pushed what I would call real-time
information to the cockpit. We put some strap-on systems on the B-52s
and the B-1s that enabled them to get the latest intelligence, the
latest tactical situation, if you will, overlaid with lots of digital
products, maps and so forth and some imagery, and we pushed that to
the cockpit. And it's being reviewed right now by the Air Force and
Air Combat Command to determine if that's something they want to do in
a permanent modifications sort of basis.
We also used some very old technology we have, the Defense Support
Program satellite, the satellite that looks for infrared energy, or
"hot spots," on the earth, initially designed to pick up strategic
ballistic missiles. We used after the first time for battle strike
And sometimes it was the only indication of strikes that had been
ongoing. And we had an outfit, a squadron at Schriever Air Force Base,
that was in direct support of the Combined Air Operations Center in
Vicenza, Italy, and would provide these strike indications. Of course,
the squadron at Schriever had to have the flight routing and the
targets and so forth, and that cooperation was the first time we had
done something like that. And it provided useful information to the
folks that were actually executing our involvement there.
And we did all that with just pushing very few people into theater.
actually deployed only 91 folks into the European theater to support
the Kosovo conflict, so our tooth-to-tail ratio is very favorable. We
can bring space assets and space capability to the war fighter with
very few folks forward that leverage all that capability and that
tremendous investment that we have on orbit.
Let me shift now to Y2K for just a minute. We've probably over-Y2K'd
ourselves at this point, but, you know, everybody in the Department of
Defense worked very hard on that particular issue. We in U.S. Space
Command and Air Force Space Command and North American Aerospace
Defense Command worked extremely hard. And our view is it was really
worth the effort because we had no mission impact on any of our
systems from the Y2K rollover end of year date. It proved essentially
to be a non-event.
As you know, we are sitting side by side at Peterson Air Force Base
today, and we will until the middle of this month, till the 15th of
this month, in the Center for Y2K Strategic Stability with our Russian
partners out there, sharing early warning on missile launch events
around the world, the idea being, of course, just to ensure there is
no miscalculation or misperception of what's happening in the world
with the two nuclear superpowers that would lead to some bad
judgments. That's working very, very well. And I think it's a good
precursor to the agreement that President Clinton and former President
Yeltsin agreed to, to set up a shared early warning center, a
permanent one, in Moscow. And so this is a good test case of how that
all ought to work, and it's working very, very well.
In terms of other growth areas, we can talk about computer network
defense. As you know, 1 October of this year, we picked up the
computer defense mission at U.S. Space Command. And again, we've been
working on the implementation of that. It will follow 1 October of
this year to pick up the computer network attack mission. We are just
in the beginnings of drawing up our implementation plans and our
concept of operations. It will be some time before we can be more
definitive in that particular area. But we think it's a logical fit
with our command structure and what we do on a daily basis, and the
fact that we have a global perspective, which is needed for both those
The last thing I'd like to talk about is the launch broad area review,
to study the launch problems that we had in the previous year. As you
probably know, there were 19 recommendations that came out of that, 10
for legacy systems, the systems that we're going to use to launch into
the early end of this decade, and then nine recommendations that went
towards the new system, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.
The secretary of the Air Force jumped on the recommendations. We
building action plans as we speak. I think, philosophically, we have
no disagreement with any of the recommendations. We think they're very
useful. And it was a very timely study of our launch process. And in
fact, we have already made some changes because of the broader review.
So we think in the end, that's going to prove to give us more reliable
launch capability. We know EELV is going to give us a less-expensive
launch capability. And the first launch of the new rocket will be in
fiscal year '02.
Well, those are a few of the issues, I think, that talk about the
and a little bit about the future. And with that, I'd turn it over for
Q: General, could I ask how safe are U.S. military computers from
cyberattack? And what do we know about -- the Chinese, I understand,
are developing the ability for cyberattack. What other countries are
General Myers: I think there -- in general, cyberattack is deemed
useful by those countries that perhaps don't have the conventional
military capability the United States does. And so it's a way of,
asymmetrically perhaps, attacking adversaries, not just the United
States but potentially other adversaries. So you can read in a lot of
the military literature that people more and more, of most of the
world, are looking at this as a potential area for some growth.
We think that the Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense,
was fully operational this past June, June of '99, has done a good
job. You know, we anticipated that over the Y2K rollover, that that
might be used as a cover for computer network attack. And in fact, we
didn't see any evidence of that. We had plans in place, and the
activity was absolutely normal during the rollover.
And I think we are pretty well prepared. We have invested a lot of
resources in defending our capabilities. And it's not just the JTFCND,
and it's not just the intrusion software and the firewalls and so
forth; it's also the training of our people. And we are working on all
pieces of it.
I think Dr. Hamre talked yesterday about the public key
infrastructure, which is another part of ensuring that our information
gets to the right place and is secure en route.
So I think we're in reasonably good shape, but it will be like
everything else we do, you know, we come up with the defense, somebody
else comes up with a different offense and back and forth. And so it's
not that we're going to sit back and rest on our previous work; we're
going to continue to work it.
Q: I understand that it's still in the formative stages, but could
amplify the computer network attack mission? What will it look like to
the American public? There's a war and you folks out at Space Command
are the ones doing the keystrokes that take down an adversary's power
General Myers: Probably a little different focus than that. We did
envision that U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is going to be
the focal point where the keystrokes are made. This is an issue of
bringing certain tools to the operational and tactical level. The
analogy to space is a very good analogy. This is not something that's
going to be kept behind in Cheyenne Mountain and only be turned on by
that level. These are tools that need to go to the operational and
So our first job is to figure out what our capabilities are out there.
Every service has some capability in this area. We need to round those
up, focus them, apportion them to the war fighters and then ensure
that they are tested and that we work through the policy and legal
implications, which there will be, and there are. And that will be a
very big part of what we do is to work through the policy and legal
parts of that.
But we see our job more as focusing what we currently have, giving
confidence to the war fighter that these tools are available, that
they have been tested, that they have some assurance that they will
work, and that we have worked through the policy and legal
implications of using them and hopefully, they'll be able to count on
these kind of tools. So that's where we're headed.
Q: Can you give us an example of the tools?
General Myers: Well, I think there's -- I mean, in the open-source,
there are several examples of things that you might want to do, but it
gets into the ability of denying, disrupting, degrading systems. It
could be in the area of air defense, for instance. If you can degrade
an air defense network of an adversary through manipulating ones and
zeros, that might be a very elegant way to do it as opposed to
dropping 2,000-pound bombs on radars, for instance. So that's -- you
know, the whole idea would be that we can do this, as you mentioned
before, perhaps with keystrokes, preventing casualties on our side and
collateral damage on the adversary's side.
So, you know, it has -- it's an elegant solution in some cases, and
I said, there are going to be some policy and legal ramifications of
all this that we have yet to work through, for the most part, and
that's going to be one of our --
Q: One more.
Is it simply a matter of appropriating the tools now in use by hackers
against DOD systems? Or is it something --
General Myers: No, it's more sophisticated than that. And when I
the first part will be focusing what capability we have today; it will
also be developing new capabilities, as things change.
So we see that as one of our major responsibilities at the unified
command level, at the U.S. Space Command level, is trying to
articulate that requirement for the other war-fighting commanders,
like we do today for space systems, and then -- and having the
services actually execute the budget that would bring those tools on
Q: I know the Navy exercises -- sort of does Red Team exercises with
-- hacking into their systems before every battle group deploys. I
assume -- you can probably tell me if the other services do the same
sort of exercises. And is this the pool of where you'll draw your
cyberwarriors from for CNA?
General Myers: A lot of that is to be determined. Of course, we "Red
Team" essentially everything we do. In fact, we have a Space Aggressor
Squadron that we are just standing up at Schriever Air Force Base to
do that for the exercises that we run traditionally, to bring a force
in there that would try to disrupt our ability to take advantage of
these space resources. So that's another analog.
And we would do the same thing of course for computer network attack.
And that is being done -- it's a very prudent thing to do. But it's --
a lot of the other issues are to be determined, as we work through our
implementation plan this year.
Q: This would be a logical place to look for talented people?
General Myers: Yes. Oh, absolutely.
And you bring up a very good point. People are what is going to make
all this work. It's not the software, it's not the hardware; it always
boils down to competent people. And that's a real issue for us in U.S.
Space Command and for the Department of Defense as a whole.
Now, the services are trying to attract the best and the brightest
come into this area. We think we can do that because we are going to
be working on leading-edge technology, we'll give them the right
tools, and they'll be doing something for their country. So we think
all of that will make it appealing.
Q: What do you think the major policy and legal implications are
you still really have to address in this area? And is part of it
whether or not you can attack the so-called dual-use target? Is that
what needs to be resolved?
General Myers: Well, I think that's absolutely part of it. And then
it's the secondary and tertiary implications of an action; you know,
"What will the reaction be?" and, "How can you assure that?" And
there's just a lot of things we are going to have to work through.
And I think we're off to a good start, but to say we have a process
place to look at that and work it on a very timely basis, or even
perhaps pre-approval in some cases, that's not the case today, we're
still working with that, but we're getting good cooperation.
Q: Would the concept of the U.S. military undertaking information
attacks be -- how fundamentally different or what kind of fundamental
direction would that take the U.S. military in, where it's never been
General Myers: Well, I think it's just going to be one more arrow
the quiver, if you will, in terms of the tools we can use. You know,
today, if you -- I'll use the air defense analogy again. If you want
to take down an air defense system, we know how to do that
kinetically. We know that we can drop bombs, we can send cruise
missiles against it, we can use attack helicopters against that kind
of system. And as I suggested, there might be other ways to do that,
and I don't know, I mean this is premature, but there might be other
ways to do that similar job. And I don't think it's going to
fundamentally take us in too different a direction, although I would
say that I think the ones and zeros part of this equation will be more
important in the future than it is today, I mean dramatically more
important; will never supplant, probably, kinetic weapons. But --
Q: Then in terms of a reaction -- just my last question is, if we
of start attacking on a ones and zeros basis, what's the implication,
and how vulnerable do we become to retaliatory attacks with somebody
attacking us on a ones and zeros basis?
General Myers: Well, that's obviously a very big worry. We are
probably, I think without question, the country that is most dependent
on information technology, so we know we have those vulnerabilities.
It's just like in space, we know we are the most dependent on
space-based capabilities and we're vulnerable there as well. And we
have a mission that we're assigned in U.S. Space Command, called Space
Control, to deal with that. And we'll deal with this piece just like
that. But obviously, all that plays. And much of this is premature. We
have just been -- we haven't got the mission; the mission comes 1
October of this year. We're doing implementation planning and the
execution planning, and we're going to have to wait until a lot of
that gets done before we can be more definitive.
Q: But it is the cutting edge, which is why, as you may detect, we're
interested in it. Can you help me understand what are the legal
issues, for example, if you're going to take down an enemy's air
defense system, dropping bombs versus doing it in an IO kind of
fashion? What's the --
General Myers: It's -- again, it's the --
Q: -- (off mike).
General Myers: It might be. There may be unintended consequences,
depending on how you work that.
If you're working on a communications network, for instance, it does
more than just air defense. They use it for other things. Then there
is the question of what are the consequences of perhaps taking down a
communications system that may support other needs that may have no
direct impact on the conflict, and then you'd have to study to see if
Q: The same thing happens when you take out a power grid with a
General Myers: Yes. And so -- absolutely right, and so I think as
work through that, one of the questions I got earlier today was, is
this going to put war fighters at odds with their legal advisors? And
I don't think anything like that at all. I think it's going to be the
legal advisors and the war fighters thinking our way through this. And
it's just something we haven't spent an awful lot of time doing, and
we just need to do that.
Q: I want to ask you an industrial base question on the space side.
Export policy right now. Because of our export policies, the Germans
have said don't -- industries have said don't use U.S. contractors, or
use them less. The RADARSAT contract from Canada just went to a
European company, not two of the U.S. bidders. I know these are
commercial programs, but are you at all concerned that our export
policy is undermining our space industrial base?
General Myers: Clearly, it's in our best interest to have a very
robust space industry in the United States. That helps not only the
commercial side, but it helps the Department of Defense and
specifically our missions out at U.S. Space Command. So we're -- our
policy is, and it has been for some time, it aligns with -- the
national policy is to have policies that encourage our industry and
enable our industry to be world leaders in this area. And we support
Q: The process is clearly broken.
General Myers: Well, there are some instances where there are some
issues, and the Canadian issue was wrapped around ITAR and probably
nothing more than that. And we just need to continue to work that. We
think a healthy industry is really good for us, so we don't want to do
anything that would impede that.
Yes, sir, in back.
Q: Can you tell us more about that satellite base where intelligence
systems went down over the weekend?
General Myers: I can't tell you any more than Dr. Hamre told you
yesterday. I went through the transcript. There were 14 or 15 pages,
and most of it was on that subject. That system belongs to the
National Reconnaissance Office, it does not belong to U.S. -- I'm
Q: Who does it belong to?
General Myers: The National Reconnaissance Office. It does not belong
to the U.S. Space Command. And I just refer you back to Dr. Hamre's
Q: There's been some discussion of building an information corps
cybercorps. Is that an idea still being kicked around?
And would the CND and CNA be the basis for that?
General Myers: I have not heard that. I know we want to build not
corps, but a group of individuals that can work in this area. And you
know, in the way it's kind of grown up is that this had been a sort of
a pick-up ball game. I mean, we don't have specialties in the Air
Force; it's a you-are-an-information-warrior. And that's one of the
things, I think, that we will bring to the table are, should we create
specialties that encourage, you know, a career path in this kind of
work. Right now it's, for the most part, it's those that are most
inclined or like to do it, and that's fine for the time being, at
least on the active duty side. Of course, on the contractor side,
which we use heavily, we can get real specialists and real expertise.
I guess my overall comment would be that creating a special corps
would tend to put this in a stovepipe that would not be -- would tend
to revolve in its own world and not -- the product of their work would
not necessarily get pushed down to the operational and tactical level
like we're trying to do for information operations. That needs to be
-- everybody is -- for instance, in computer network defense, U.S.
Space Command has the overall mission for DOD that does not relieve
the unified commanders in PACOM, EUCOM, CENTCOM and so forth. They
have their own responsibilities to protect their networks. We are the
ones providing the global view and trying to coordinate all that, but
it's not our responsibility alone. I see the same thing in the total
realm of information operations. At least the attack and the defense
piece would be similarly worked.
Q: Can you give us a sense with this computer network attack, do
need new funding for it? Have you already received some new funding
for it? And is this something that will save money over time, over
using conventional weapons?
General Myers: Again, we are in the middle of our implementation
so we have not identified our resources yet. We have just finished
that process for computer network defense and in the budget
deliberations that are ongoing right now, in the budget that will go
to Congress and so forth, they are deciding how many resources,
manpower and dollars we're going to put to that mission.
We'll do that similar exercise, probably, next year for computer
network attack in terms of what we're going to need at U.S. Space
Command to discharge our duties, so that's a little bit premature. But
clearly we're going to need some resource help to make this happen if
we want to make it happen in the right way.
Q: Over time, will it save money over -- in some instances --
(inaudible) -- weapons?
General Myers: We think -- for instance, in computer network defense
-- we think the focus that was brought to that by the Joint Task Force
for Computer Network Defense here in Washington that now reports to
us, that that will help and save resources. They will probably be on
the margin in most cases.
I would say in the computer network attack area, we will probably
up spending more resources because this is a growth area. And so in
the end, we may -- we'll save ourselves in terms of organizing
ourselves better for it, and so there may be some savings there. But
in the long run, it's probably going to be a growth area, like I
Q: During last year's war in Yugoslavia, was there any consideration
of using computer network attack tactics? And if not, was it because
this policy hasn't matured yet?
General Myers: In many cases -- you know, we are just -- again, this
is relatively new stuff for us. And I would like to say that --
without giving you a lot of detail -- that we worked through some
policy and legal issues during Kosovo that will hopefully help us in
the future because we addressed some issues like you suggested and, I
think, came up with a good resolution. And I think that portends well
for our future capability in this area.
But, as you know, the opposing forces in Serbia were not reliant,
instance, on space systems. They were not reliant on systems that were
heavily involved with information technology; so limited opportunities
Plus again, we are on the cusp of this. And a lot of the existing
capability is very immature, has not been tested. And we need to
operationalize this like we do for everything else. It needs to be
thought of like that. And the planning for that needs to happen up
front and early, so people like General Clark can say, you know, "I
have got this arrow in my quiver, and I'd like to use it here." We are
short of that capability right -- (inaudible) -- today.
Q: So for this to work then, the enemy or the opponent would have
also be reliant on information technology like, to the extent the
United States is or some --
General Myers: Well, or perhaps you know, have some reliance. And
think that's -- most everybody, you know, is using information
technology more and more every day. We seem to be in the lead in that
area, but -- of reliance.
Q: You said that there were some limited opportunities in Serbia.
we take advantage of them?
General Myers: I'd rather not comment on that, for -- reasons.
Q: The perception of cyberwarfare is that it's bloodless, that it's
sort of like a video game and so forth. That perception may be wrong,
but do you worry that the threshold for committing acts of war in
cyberspace is maybe lower, and that policymakers might be more
inclined to use this weapon than they would be to use 2,000-pound
bombs? And does that trouble you?
General Myers: I'm not sure we can say that. I think our experience
date has almost been the opposite, that we understand the effects of a
2,000-pound bomb. We know the laws of armed conflict and all that, and
so we -- we're much more comfortable in that realm than we are in the
other realm, and I think it's going to be a long time before the
reverse is true. That's my personal opinion on that.
But again, we're just starting to wade into this, and so --
Q: If you drew an analogy to the early days of aviation, when, you
know, people in biplanes were flying around and they were plinking at
one another with pistols and dropping an occasional hand grenade on
the enemy --
General Myers: Right.
Q: Is that where we are?
General Myers: Well, I think that's a pretty good analogy. I think
that's where we are and, you know, that the potential here is much
greater than has been realized, probably, but -- that's probably a
pretty good analogy.
Q: Could you just explain the bureaucracy a bit, here? So, what has
happen? Does this all have to go to President Clinton for some sort of
presidential decision directive? Is it a secretary of Defense
decision? What would get you to the decision point that you could go
ahead and use this stuff?
General Myers: Well, it's -- any time we prosecute war, decisions,
certain decisions, have to migrate up to the national command
authorities, and I think certain aspects of this would. I think our
hope in the future is that we've thought through it, and for certain
capabilities that we might want to use that it would become understood
what the effects are and that that would be something that would be
very easily approved. Other capabilities might have to go all the way
to the president for approval. That would not be unusual. We do that
today in a conventional sense, as you know.
Q: But when you say that the policy and legal implications have to
resolved, it sort of suggests that you're not quite there yet and --
General Myers: Well, I think I said that. We're working through that
piece of it right now.
Q: So, what is sort of the next step? I guess that's what I'm trying
General Myers: Well, the next step is to -- you know, we are just
trying to get ourselves organized for it. That's why the mission comes
to us 1 October, we're working through, again, the implementation
plan, the concept of operations. That'll all have to be approved here
on the joint staff and by the office of the secretary of Defense staff
and folks that say, "Yes, you're on the right track," and that's the
first thing we have to do to get organized.
And part of that, getting ourselves organized, it'll be a further
to say, okay, what tools are out there that can be used? I mean,
what's been developed? And then to bring that into the tool kit and
then at that point start working through the policy and legal
Q: If the policy and legal implications haven't yet been resolved,
sort of strongly suggests that perhaps we -- the infrastructure, or
the framework, is not in place to have ever done any of this in the
past, because you're saying we're not there yet.
General Myers: Well, we have -- I think it's fair to say that we
done this in the past on a case-by-case basis.
And of course if you're in the middle of a conflict, you'd prefer
not work this on a case-by-case basis; that usually takes longer. So,
you know, we would look to a process to be a little more robust in
that area where we could have, like I said before, pre-approval of
some capabilities -- I'm not talking -- this is all very notional --
of some capabilities, and then there will still be -- no doubt there
will still be some case-by-case issues.
It's a lot like the space business today too. I mean there's issues
there that we still haven't operationalized and normalized, if you
will, and we don't treat the same as we treat other capabilities. And
there's no reason not to, I mean, we ought to be able to do that. But
it's just new enough and different enough.
Q: So information attacks have occurred on a case-by-case basis,
when you say we have done "this"?
General Myers: We have done certain things on a case-by-case basis;
Q: Yeah, a couple of questions. With the CNA, who has the mission
anybody? Because you've assumed the CND from DISA.
General Myers: Yes, it's -- you know, the story on CND is pretty
It was after Eligible Receiver where we found out we had all these
vulnerabilities. And I think it was Dr. Hamre who tells the story, he
looked around the room and he says, "Well, okay, who's responsible for
Computer Network Defense?" And nobody raised their hand. And so that
obviously pointed out the problem, and that's why we tried to organize
ourselves to address that, and that's why Unified Commander got the
The same thing is true today on Computer Network Defense. It is --
Computer Network Attack -- excuse me. For the programs that we have,
most of those are -- if there are programs, and I don't even -- I
mean, I don't have a window into most of that, but they're service
programs and they reside in service channels to work fleet issues or
air issues or ground issues. And what we hope to do is bring some
focus of that and make those capabilities -- operationalize that
Q: And why Space Command? How did you guys draw this?
General Myers: I think for -- first of all, a lot of the information
we're dealing with in warfare is either space enabled or travels
through space. We have a global perspective, and you need that for the
defensive mission; in particular, you need to have the global
perspective because you may have an attack originating in one theater
that's having an effect in another theater, and there has to be
somebody in the middle there that has that view and can coordinate
responses, and so forth. And the other reason I would say is that
we're used to working in the virtual world.
You know, we control satellites with keystrokes. We never see the
effect other than the data coming back down that said, yes, the
command was taken. So we think it fits nicely. I was there when the
decision was made. I was brand new on the job. I'd been in the job one
month, came to a meeting where the service chiefs and the other
unified commanders all said, "We think we need a war-fighting
commander in chief to be responsible for this mission area."
Q: (Off mike.)
General Myers: I was -- again, I was new. I was very quiet. I didn't
-- I made no comment. I just was listening. But I thought, at the same
time, and I had given it some thought previously and had some
discussions with people that were influencing this area, that it
probably was the right thing to do. And we think it's fit in -- the
computer network defense piece has fit in very nicely.
Q: And one more. On the space maneuver vehicle and space attack
vehicle, could you give us an update of where those two stand?
General Myers: Space Command has a lot of interest in the concept
space maneuver vehicle. We think you can do lots of things with that.
You could service satellites. You know, one of the limiting features
of most our satellites is they eventually run out of fuel. And
otherwise, they may be perfectly fine. Not in all cases, but in some
cases. So you could use a space maneuver vehicle for that. You could
use it for other applications. And so that's in the area of reusable
vehicles. That is primarily NASA's role. And so we partner with NASA.
Partnership's very important to us, as you know. We partner with NASA,
and the United States Air Force puts money into that program to ensure
that as NASA moves along its business with the X-37 and so forth, that
we are part of that, and if it turns out to have military utility,
that we can take advantage of it. So we are partnering with that.
Q: What about space attack vehicles?
General Myers: Only conceptually. You know, one of our missions in
U.S. Space Command is force application. But we have no capability
today from space to apply force from space. And before we do, it's
going to require, you know, a national decision by the president and
the Congress and the rest of the national command authority. So we're
only in the conceptual area there.
Q: One more. You said this morning -- you talked a little bit about
how you need to maybe red team satellites to see what effect
ground-based lasers could have on them. Do you see any plans for that
sort of program in the future, or is it just your wish list?
General Myers: No, I think that is a program that needs to be
developed and fleshed out. We're not there yet. But we know the need's
Q: I just want to follow up on Pam's question on space maneuver
vehicle. Given that NASA is having major problems with their
single-staged orbit program, in a general sense, technically and
programmatically, is it time to revisit that gentlemen's agreement on
EELV and RLV, splitting those two between the agencies?
I mean, are they really serving DOD's needs at the pace that they
going right now?
General Myers: I think they are, and we are pleased with that.
We have got -- you know, there is a Partnership Council, where Dan
Goldin from NASA and Keith Hall from NRO and myself sit down
semiannually to work through lots of issues. This is one issue -- and
we have lots of them -- where we have mutual interests. Maybe the end
product or the end effect is different, but the basic science and
technology is the same. And so there is no -- I don't think there is
any other way to do this. We have to partner with NASA. There is no
budget big enough.
Q: Thank you, sir.
General Myers: Thank you.