The US Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) has completed its first live simulation space combat readiness exercise, Black Skies 2022.

Conducted between 19 and 23 September, the exercise aimed to enhance the US Space Force’s (USSF) command-and-control (C2) capabilities.

The development of this exercise took around nine months and was led by the 392d Combat Training Squadron, assigned under USSF’s Space Delta 1, with support of several combat squadrons and Space Operations Command (SOC) units. 

It includes National Guard Bureau (NGB), US Air Force’s (USAF) reserves and 25th Space Range Squadron (SRS), under Space Delta 11.

The event allowed the participants to practice C2 of various joint electronic warfare fires in a realistic scenario, by operating real systems.

USSF 392d CTS commander lieutenant colonel Albert Harris said: “This is different from virtual simulation involving real people operating simulated systems, and constructive simulation involving simulated people operating simulated systems.”

Besides, several advanced training ranges were configured by the 25th SRS for this exercise.

The stretch of this range was the distance between California and Colorado, with elevation to a point 22,000mi above the Earth.

This range offered a war-like environment, allowing participants to safely fire and demonstrate respective weapon systems to hone their warfighting procedures, techniques and tactics.

The latest iteration of Black Skies focused primarily on a notional crisis in the US European Command’s area of responsibility.

This crisis involved the launch of multi-domain combat operations, which were all presented by the 392d CTS using constructive simulation.

Black Skies involved the participation of electronic warfare (EW) airmen from California and Florida Air National Guard, USAF Reserve’s 380th Space Control Squadron, Combined SOC and Space Delta 5, 4th and 16th EW Squadrons from Space Delta 3.