The future success of Army forces and their mission will be critically dependent upon the successful exploitation of space assets, capabilities, applications, and products. Space technologies will aid the Army in the areas of information operations, space control, intelligence collection and exploitation, target acquisition, navigation, long and short distance communications (by maintaining line of sight despite intervening obstacles), warning of ballistic missile attacks and other pending threats to land forces and individual soldiers, location and management of logistics assets including automated exchange of logistical data, environmental monitoring, mapping and charting of the earth's surface, and weapons guidance over occupied and unoccupied terrain. Changes in force structure, transition from a forward deployed to a force (power) projection Army, and changes in Army missions have increased the importance of space in standard and special operations.
The ability to improve space-based capabilities hinges on the application of advanced technology. Some of these technologies will improve sensitivity and increase the capacity of existing systems while others are designed to extend the life of space systems and provide more versatility in applications. The Army role is not in building, launching, or operating space systems independently, but in developing, procuring, and fielding ground terminals, integrating space with non-space systems, user equipment, and ensuring that mission payloads address a wider range of Army requirements.
The Army is developing technologies to better support the warfighter using space-based assets and space applications. The Army's goal is to make the use of space a standard part of the planning for all appropriate Army operations and an integral part of the execution of all missions. This normalization of space provides the best utilization of technological capabilities to support warfighters, and the Army space policy to:
- Capitalize on existing and emerging space-related systems' capabilities.
- Exploit space activities that contribute to the successful execution of Army missions as part of a total force.
- Support assured access to space and use of space-related capabilities to aid strategic, operational, tactical, and special operations missions.