US Strategic Command’s space component—Joint Functional Component Command for Space—recently concluded an exercise that allowed the command to practice delivering synchronized space effects through a contested environment. Global Lightning 16 ran from April 23 to April 28, but was in the works for a year, according to a May 3 release. The annual exercise focused on STRATCOM’s capabilities provided to geographic combatant commanders during a crisis or contingency, according to the release. This time, the Commercial Integration Cell, overseen by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, played a larger role in the exercise and integrated commercial space operators into the Joint Space Operations Center.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.