Fighting in a contested space environment: training Marines for operations with degraded or denied space-enabled capabilities
Garcia, David M.
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Space is an increasingly congested, contested and competitive environment. At the same time, the Marine Corps is becoming increasingly reliant on the capabilities space-based assets provide. This includes each of the space force enhancement capabilities, but particularly satellite-based voice and data communication; position, navigation, and timing information; and battlefield intelligence. Space capabilities are vulnerable to both space-based and terrestrial-based countermeasures. This study was conducted to determine the extent to which the Marine Corps educates and trains warfighters to operate in a battlefield where space-centric enabling capabilities are degraded or denied. The study surveyed the systems and capabilities on which the Marine Corps relies in order to enhance its execution of the highly dynamic range of military operations as well as the threats to those systems and capabilities. Furthermore, the study examined to what levels and extent related training and education should take place, and which venues would best host that training. Based on the analysis, this thesis recommends leveraging internal Marine Corps expertise, increasing integration of space-related education and training into schoolhouse curricula and training exercises, and leveraging joint space expertise and resources to enhance Marine Corps readiness to excel in a contested space operational environment.
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