STARCOM Integrates Innovation, Achieves ‘Firsts’ in SPACE FLAG 22-2

  • Published
  • By STARCOM Public Affairs

The Space Training and Readiness Command completed the fourteenth iteration of their SPACE FLAG exercise (SPACE FLAG 22-2) designed to ready space warfighters to defend US and our coalition partners’ interests in space, while simultaneously deterring adversary aggression and denying their actions in the domain.

“With every SPACE FLAG we learn more about how best to prepare our Guardians for the adversary threats we face in space,” said STARCOM Commander, Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton.
“This exercise in particular saw some significant innovations which will create a more timely and realistic experience for our warfighters.”

SPACE FLAG is a Secretary of the Air Force exercise, directed by Chief of Space Operations, General Jay Raymond with the mission to develop and test doctrine, concepts of operation, and tactics, techniques, and procedures, for protecting and defending asset and interests of the US through the spectrum of space control activities.

The two-week exercise which ran from April 4-15 included participants from nine Space Force Deltas, the Army’s 1st Space Brigade, as well as other DoD and government agencies. During the exercise, players performed simulated space warfighting for a Combatant Command during a regional conflict in the United States Indo-Pacific Command and for the first time, United States European Command area of responsibilities. Units collaborated, planned, and developed courses of action to protect national interests against a determined adversary capable of disrupting the United States’ ability to conduct global space operations--while balancing mission requirements for theater space effects.

“For SPACE FLAG 22-2, we achieved several ‘firsts’ which provided a more dynamic, realistic experience for our participants,” said USSF 1st. Lt. Deshawna Moore, SPACE FLAG 22-2 Deputy Exercise Director. “We utilized modeling/simulation tools internal to our squadron to present a realistic environment for our players. These tools are Joint Staff-Certified National Training Capabilities that enable our participants to visualize actions, effects, and threats in a joint context, which better prepares them to win a globally integrated fight,” Moore said.
Other firsts included real-time adjudication of warfighting tactics, providing rapid and meaningful feedback to players, and an all new exercise scenario which enables both flexibility and responsiveness to rapidly evolving warfighter training needs.

SPACE FLAG 22-2 also saw the first time use of satellite covariance to mimic real world unknowns when collecting satellite positional data. Capt. Perry VanZandt, Capt. Lydell Scott, and Capt. Adam Hockert from STARCOM’s 57th Space Aggressor Squadron teamed with 1st Lt. Lt James Scheuer and Sgt Evan Wood from Space Operations Command to rapidly prototype and implement this new tool to address specific challenges in the fog and friction of space warfare.

“Our goal is to continually improve and refine SPACE FLAG to ensure it remains a premier training event which meets warfighter readiness requirements,” said USSF Lt. Col. Albert “AC” Harris III, 392d CTS commander. “The rapid innovation and teaming we demonstrated with the covariance tool is an example of the types of improvements which keep SPACE FLAG the elite combat training event for space forces.” Harris said.

The exercise, which is run by STARCOM’s 392d Combat Training Squadron under Delta 1, will have two more iterations in 2022, adding to a compendium of training events designed to meet STARCOM’s mission of Preparing Every Guardian.