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COL Casey Beard (USSF), Commander of Space Delta 9 in the U.S. Space Force, explains the new Space Force capstone document and the process he and his colleagues undertook to develop it

The Space Force has a new capstone document that lays out the plan for military operations in space. It spells out the force’s priorities for defending the United States in space.

Colonel Casey Beard (USSF), one of the architects of the framework, said he and a team of 21 others started the process last year with the goal of “generating a document that would articulate, for the first time ever, spacepower as a distinct form of military power.” The document is intended to be a foundational doctrine that defines the purpose, identity and culture of the Space Force.

The Space Force did not exist yet when the document writing process began, explained Col. Beard, so the team consisted of mostly Air Force space operators as well as Army personnel, civilian personnel, members of the Intelligence Community and others. The capstone document includes three cornerstone responsibilities, five core competencies, and seven spacepower disciplines.

The document also lays the groundwork for other documents that will be developed, including operational and tactical doctrine. Col. Beard said the process for these documents will be similar and will start with formally establishing writing teams. He anticipates these documents will be published “notionally within the next year or so.” The Space Force is also planning to form a Space Training and Readiness Command, or STARCOM, that would “own this process organically, rather than having to rely more exclusively on the Air Force or other services to do that.”

The capstone document is a living document, according to Col. Beard, and will “probably change more frequently in the early years than it will in the out years.” The Space Force will also evolve the document using empirical evidence from the field “to make sure that our mission is properly postured for future threats and future opportunities.”

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