Press Release

National Security Space Association Releases White Paper on “Space Warfighting Culture”

By SpaceRef Editor
November 12, 2020
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The National Security Space Association (NSSA), a U.S. trade association devoted solely to promoting the U.S. defense and intelligence space enterprise, today released a white paper entitled, “Space Warfighting Culture”.  Written by Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin (USAF, Ret.) under the auspices of the Association’s Studies & Analysis Center, the White Paper provides answers to the following central questions:  Why is establishing a space warfighting culture important?  What is a space warfighting culture?  And how does the U.S. Space Force (USSF) create a space warfighting culture?

The paper asserts that, “a strong warfighting culture will be the primary delineator between the creation of a transformative, high-impact military service and a rearranging of the deck chairs among legacy U.S. Air Force space units.  This all-important culture will reflect the ground truth of the new USSF values, identity, and philosophy.  It will ultimately drive the reputation of the USSF among its own people, external audiences, and potential new recruits.  The culture will be the glue that keeps the service aligned across all its elements….  Creating a strong USSF warfighting culture will ensure that the new service is not tied or bound to any school of thought associated with another service, but instead to a new set of attributes that allow the USSF to meet the needs of the nation.  It will ensure the USSF is a military service where its culture reflects both the enduring nature of war and the uniqueness of a service that conducts warfare in the space domain….  A new, effective, and strong space culture will ensure the new service can successfully execute the current and future missions assigned to it by the nation.”

Chris Williams, Chair of the NSSA Studies & Analysis Center, offered the following comments on the release of the White Paper:  “Lieutenant General McLaughlin has significantly advanced the debate by providing prescient answers to central questions about a space warfighting culture within the USSF.  Every organization has a culture.  The question is whether U.S. Space Force leaders will take steps now to inculcate a culture that reflects the challenges and opportunities facing America’s newest military service.  This White Paper should be required reading for all current and future members of the U.S. Space Force.”

The White Paper will be the topic of discussion on the next installment of the NSSA Space Time webinar series featuring Chris Williams and Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin. To register for the event, please visit the registration page.

The Studies & Analysis Center is NSSA’s in-house think tank.  The Center has recently produced scholarly reports with insightful analysis and actionable recommendations on topics such as reforming the national security space systems acquisition process and modernizing U.S. security policies, practices, and governance structures to better enable national security space missions.

For more information, please visit the Association’s website,

The National Security Space Association is a 501(c)(3) (pending) non-profit support association solely dedicated to the National Security Space enterprise. NSSA works to foster long-term cooperation among industry and government, leading the way with expert opinion, insight and analysis. The Association is devoted to fostering a holistic, mission-oriented workforce that will shape the face of National Security Space for generations to come.

SpaceRef staff editor.