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Space offers 'high ground' in war on terror, other conflicts

by Master Sgt. Scott Elliott

Air Force Print News

02/13/03 - CHANTILLY, Va. -- Space-based assets are vitally important to success in the war on terrorism and future conflicts, the Defense Department's executive agent for space said Feb. 12.

"For us to be secure as a nation, we're going to need better eyes, ears, warning and rapid ability to respond to crisis," Peter B. Teets, undersecretary of the Air Force and director of the National Reconnaissance Office, told reporters at a media roundtable conference at NRO headquarters here.

"Clearly, space is the high ground, and we need to capture that high ground and exploit it," he said.

One of the undersecretary's focus items involves pursuing innovative capabilities for national intelligence and defense priorities.

"I would characterize this as being focused on breakthrough technologies that will allow us to collect our adversaries' secrets without their knowing," Teets said.

The president's 2004 budget includes funding requests for many national security space projects, including the space-based radar. According to Teets, the SBR embraces both military and intelligence needs.

"It's going to take significant (resources) to field the SBR we have in mind," he said.