National Space Council will explore military space and intelligence roles and responsibilities


Kissimmee, Fla. – The National Space Council will delve into the question of national security space roles and responsibilities, Chirag Parikh, the council’s executive secretary, said May 8 at the 2024 GEOINT Symposium here.

In discussions with various departments, agencies, services and combatant commanders, the National Space Council is looking into the ongoing tug-of-war between military leaders concerned with speedy access to imagery and data and intelligence agency leaders who emphasize the need to verify information and gather insights.

“We’re working with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense stakeholders to best understand where we are on this matter now. It’s come to the forefront,” Parikh said.

Pointing to the Space Systems Command’s online marketplace that taps into commercial satellite data, Parikh said, “we should be leveraging newfound initiatives and agile processes” to ensure the data flows to the people who need it, when they need it.

At the same time, the National Space Council is aware of the need to prevent redundancy.

“NGA continues to serve as the global leader in GEOINT,” Parikh said. “There are great lessons to learn and there is great expertise there. But NGA is going to have to rise to the ever-evolving GEOINT in warfighting environments along the way.”

Military Requirements

Key questions the National Space Council wants to answer are: what are the military requirements and how many of them are currently being satisfied.

“We need to better quantify the anecdotes and the challenges that we’re hearing from the combatant commands and from the Space Force,” Parikh said. “We need to be able to figure it out and help solve some of these things.”

The National Space Council will consider solutions ranging from policies, authorities and processes to funding, advocacy and communications.

“I’m pretty sure something is going to change along the way,” Parikh said. “This is an absolutely critical community and an absolutely critical time for us to make the right decisions because what we do now is going to have an impact over the next decade, not just within the United States but around the world.”

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