The Air Force is happy with the way the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center is going, and has requested funding to continue it past its original end date in 2016, Air Force Space Command Commander Gen. John Hyten said Thursday at ASC16. “We’re still focused on experimentation,” Hyten said, adding that while no final decisions have been made, the service does want to continue the experiment “into the out years.” The JICSPOC, as it’s known, is located at Schriever AFB, Colo. The center is a place to experiment with how command and control will be handled in the event of a war in space; Hyten said it has been through two experimentation periods, is in the middle of one now, and has another scheduled in May. The biggest lesson learned so far is that “the most critical element of being ready for war that might extend into space is a tight partnership with the intelligence community,” Hyten said. “We’ve learned a lot, we’ve learned that we have deficiencies that we have to work at, but I can’t say enough good things about the intelligence community … that is the key piece of the puzzle,” he said.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.