There was a time when war in outer space was the province of science fiction, but those days have given way to modern technology, satellite communications, ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles), various missile defense systems and other methodologies for doing battle in the final frontier — and there is an elite squadron that helps prepare and train U.S. military forces for extraterrestrial conflict against imagined and potential enemies: the Space Aggressors. These are true-life military personnel that, according to Seeker, “spend their days hatching plots to defeat the US military in extraterrestrial combat.”
Operating out of a warehouse in Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, the Space Aggressors’ (technically, the 26th and 527th Space Aggressor Squadrons) mission is to be the enemy in mock space battles to aid the U.S. military prepare for warfare that might entail some form of conflict in space.
“We play the bad guys,” Captain Christopher Barnes, chief of training for the 26th Space Aggressor Squadron, told Seeker.
“Our job is to not only understand the different types of threats and potential enemies, but also to be able to portray them and replicate them for the good guys, our Air Force.”
Even though the Space Aggressors formulate and implement mock space attacks, it is well established among senior U.S. military and intelligence officials that the potential threat from outer space is real. Although there is no evidence to suggest that Earth will be invaded anytime soon by hostile aliens, there is a very real danger of conflict in space between space-faring nations like Russia, China, and the United States.
“While we’re not at war in space, I don’t think we could say we’re exactly at peace, either,” Vice Admiral Charles Richard, Deputy Commander of U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C. in March, said.
“We must prepare for a conflict that extends into space.”
CNN aired a special report back in November entitled “War In Space: The Next Battlefield” that highlighted the growing arms race in space between the three superpowers. As reported by The Inquisitr, besides guidance and telecommunications systems, among the known space weapons already (potentially) deployed by China and Russia are satellites that kidnap other satellites and satellites that ram or collide (called kamikaze) with their targets. Of course, it is believed that distance “killer satellites” are either in orbit or being developed as well. And that is just the more conventional forms of conflict being envisioned for the battlefield in space. Laser battles are becoming a potential scenario as well.
“This is something that is on the new frontier of space that we’re seeing from our adversaries,” U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Engle told CNN.
“It’s highly technical, highly skilled, and it’s something that we’re definitely, obviously, watching closely.”
To put the Space Aggressors’ mission and the preparations being made for actual military combat directed toward an extraterrestrial adversary in perspective, it was reported last week that a Russian satellite moved for the first time in a year, apparently being reactivated and independently positioning itself beside a defunct piece of Chinese satellite junk. It is one of three Russian satellites that the U.S. monitors without knowing exactly what they do or are being used for.
The Space Aggressors exist to simulate attacks from space and train U.S. forces to combat and, optimally, overcome them.
“We study threats to the space realm, either coming from space or based on land,” Captain Barnes said. “If we can’t directly replicate them with hardware, then we figure out if there’s a software solution or some way we can train people to the point where they can fight through them, if they have to, in a conflict.”
[Featured Image by Marc Ward/Shutterstock]