Broadcast 4052 Matt Bille; Kerri Westburg

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Guests:  Matt Bille, Kerri Westburg; Topics:  The thought process concept expressed in their published paper, "Guardian Scout: Military Space From The Pad Up." Our guests explained this concept in detail for Space Command, the Space Force and DoD.

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We welcomed the return of Matt Bille to the program and for the first time Kerri Westburg regarding their AIAA SciTec Forum paper, "Guardian Scout: Military Space From The Pad Up."  Please note that this paper is on our blog.  I urge you to read it in conjunction with listening to this program as their paper provides fare more information on their thought proposal than we were able to get to in discussing this on air.  In addition, as I have done with other recent Space Show programs, I strongly suggest you pay attention to the Tags as they fairly represent the topics and issues we talked about during this 86-minute program.  For your convenience, the tags are repeated below.

Tags:  Matt Bille, Kerri Westburg, Aerospace Corp, Guardian Scout: Military Space From The Pad UP, thought leadership proposal for U.S. Space Force & Space Command, integrating and launching space missions, rapid response for military launch, Peter the Great and the Russian navy, Responsive Launch for U.S., Blue Scout, Guardian Scout System, USAF, increasing reliance on space, rapid access to space, private sector rockets, Responsive Space ten years ago and now, needing a debate on the issues, officers w/without enlisted, approval process, GPS examples, tactical, missiles, cruise missile example, testing, commercial or building the product, Academy built, eight mission capacity, on the job training, upsides compared to downsides, Guardian Scout launch locations, technical challenges, contested space of today.

As a great supporter of studying and knowing history, I welcomed our guests discussing history with both Tsar Peter the Great and his plans to make Russia a naval power and then later, their informing us of the old Air Force program Blue Scout dating from the early 1960's.  Out guests did a great job of integrating these two pieces of history into their thought process concept on how to better strengthen and serve our Space Force and Space Command for the future.  Our guests spent ample time talking about both but if you like history as I do, you must read their paper.  A more modern piece of space launch and defense history that I participated in at the time was the old Responsive Space Conferences held at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles a decade or so again. Frequent Space Show listeners will recall many interviews that I did while at the Responsive Space gigs plus guests that were on back then were promoting the defense priority for responsive space.  Matt and Kerri, in their paper, wrote about their new ideas which were fully explained during the interview but also in their paper, as a way of enhancing and bringing to bear responsive space at this time since it did not fly back then.  Later in the program I asked Matt why the timing for responsive space was now versus a decade or so again.  Our guests provided a full answer to my question but a key point that Matt made was that back when the Responsive Space Conferences were being held, space was not contested.  Today, with the success of multiple commercial space players in all segments of space activity, space is very contested thus we now really do need responsive space.  Don't miss this discussion during our program but also be sure to read the paper to fully grasp the significance as to why responsive space is needed today. 

One point that our guest made that I found interesting was the application of on-the-job training for the Space Force/Space Command officers engaging in the proposed Guardian Scout program.  Rocket launching companies would have their reps on the ground handling the launches for Space Force and Space Command but there would be a special group of trained Guardian Scout officers designated to learn the "ropes" for launch and mission matters from the "experts" provided by the launching companies.  Since all launches now go through Space Force as explained by our guests, having Space Force trained people would enable more frequent launches and more quality independence with the services.  Our guests fully explained this concept so don't miss it.  I like the idea of official training but also engaging in significant on the job training under the guidance of the leadership crews from the launching companies.  I was a bit disappointed that the Guardian Scout concept was for the time being officer only as I think senior enlisted personnel could substantially add to the program.  Our guests said this was an open issue that the services would eventually decide on their own.

Yet another topic I found most interesting was the issue of space access which today is far different from even the recent past.  Most of this discussion fell outside their paper but if we think about the multiple space users today getting access to space and how this will expand over the near term and more, Space Force and those designated to assure free access to space, will have an increasingly important role to play.  Like the U.S. Navy assuring free use of the seas.  As I understand it the idea of the Guardian Scout program will be able to expand to take on additional obligations in an expanding space environment including the assurance of free access to space.

Many other topics were talked about during this interview. Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this program.  You can reach each of our guests through me here at The Space Show.

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The Guardian Scout plan for Space Force & Space Command on launching

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11 Jul 2023 Matt Bille, Kerri Westburg
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