COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Security Space Institute opened a state-of-the-art modeling and simulation facility that will help space professionals gain the knowledge and skills necessary integrate space-based capabilities into joint theater planning and operations.
“We designed the Space Power Lab to enhance the education students receive in the formal classroom by providing the hands-on training that will prepare them to effectively augment theater Air and Space Operations Centers during exercise and real-world contingencies,” said Lt. Col. Frank Gallagher, National Security Space Institute commander.
The $1.1 million, 2,000 square foot facility accommodates 30 students at a time and provides an interactive training environment via a classified internal network. The lab integrates 16 mission planning applications and situational awareness tools to give students high-fidelity training on every aspect of their duties. The institute plans to add Space Power Lab-based exercises to numerous space professional development courses.
“The exercises conducted in the SPL will reinforce classroom concepts taught. [They will] give students an appreciation for the complexity of war planning, the dynamics involved with executing these plans, and the integration of space capabilities,” Colonel Gallagher said.
Initial Space Power Lab requirements mirrored the needs of the Space in the Air and Space Operations Centers Course and projected needs of Space 200, the institute’s flagship space professional course.
“Theater [Air and Space Operations Centers] continually update the list of applications our students need to understand—adding new ones and changing the way existing ones are employed; therefore one of our biggest challenges is keeping our software and training concepts current,” said course manager Andy “Flash” Lasher.
Following is a sample of the 16 Space Power Lab applications:
• Global Command and Control System - Joint is the military’s system for command and control of joint and coalition forces.
• Processing and Display Subsystem-Migration is used for missile launch detection, impact prediction and launch points.
• Command and Control Personal Computer is a visualization tool that facilitates military command and control.
• Have Combat Search And Rescue provides aircrews the ability to pinpoint the location of, authenticate, and establish communications with downed aircrew members in need of extraction.
• Space Common Operational Picture and Exploitation System is an analytical and graphical application to visually show the status of on-orbit and ground assets supporting space capabilities.
• Space Battle Management Core System is another visualization planning and execution tool.
The Space Power Lab initiative supports Air Force Space Command’s Space Professional Strategy, which is focused on the education, training, and experience needed to achieve national security space objectives and lead the United States into the 21st century.
On Jan. 3, the Space in the Air and Space Operations Centers Course was the first institute class to use the Space Power Lab.
“The SPL increased my learning by at least 200 percent over the previous learning environment. Each us had our own workstation incorporating the exact systems, complete with the exact checklists we will use in theater. The SPL has made me confident, competent, and ready to bring space to fight,” said Capt Larry Paige, 90th Operations Support Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
The National Space Security Institute was activated Oct. 1, 2004. It is the Department of Defense center of excellence for space education throughout the National Security Space community. The institute reaches more than 3,000 students annually to include personnel from all branches of the armed forces as well as representatives from the National Reconnaissance Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other national agencies.