Jeffrey LewisCSRS and CounterCom (Blame it on Nanjing)

While I was in Nanjing, Space News confirmed (“U.S. Declates Satellite Jammer Ready” October 11, 2004, p.1) that the Air Force canceled the Counter Surveillance Reconnaissance System (CSRS or “scissors) and has delivered the first Counter Communications System (now called CounterCom). [Early Bird readers can access it here]

The confirmations were provided by Gen. Lance Lord (USAF), Commander of Air Force Space Command, speaking to the Strategic Space 2004 Conference in Omaha. The comments appear to have come in the question-and-answer session, as his prepared remarks dealt largely with larger questions of strategy.

Running with Scissors

Regarding the CSRS cancellation, Lord said: “Who canceled it and why is not my issue.” Oh, Lord. He only heads the command charged with the “responsibility to organize, train, and equip our space and missile forces by developing, acquiring, fielding, operating, and sustaining systems and capabilities to exploit and control the high ground of space.”

Why should it be his issue? It’s only his friggin’ job…

The best Jeremy Singer could do was to report that one Capt. Angie Blair said “in a written statement” that CSRS “lost out to competing priorities as the service developed its 2006 budget proposal …”

Off the Shelf

Lord and Air Force Space Command have been pretty tight lipped about CounterCom (formerly CSCS and CCS) other than to say that the system is “based largely on commercially available components.”

Sort of has that “ad in the back of a comic book feel.” Maybe the Navy will invest in some Sea Monkeys.

The end is nigh

Lord also repeated the very, very tired claim that “March 22, 2004 is a significant date because it was the first time the United States responded to an overt attack on our space capabilities.”

“In the weeks leading up to that date,” Lord said, ‘we watched as Saddam Hussein strategically placed six Global Positioning System jammers around the city of Baghdad.”

Notice that Lord said it was an attack on our capabilities, not our assets. Iraq didn’t attack the satellites, but rather jammed the munitions. By that standard, a DUI at Petersen Air Force Base degrades our capabilities.