OTH Video: Interview with General William “Willie” Shelton (Retired)

Space is foundational to every military operation and yet we haven’t postured to adequately defend our satellites. In space, as in any other domain, we need to develop coalition partnerships while retaining freedom to operate independently.

Video Length: 20 minutes

Editor’s Note: Following his presentation to the Air Command and Staff College as part of Gathering of Eagles, a week of events celebrating air power history, OTH sat down with General William L. Shelton for a short interview. In this video, General Shelton discusses his views on space operations and the emerging space security environment. He touches on a wide range of topics which include defensive and offensive posturing, incorporation of civilian innovation into military operations, national will and resource allocation, the acquisitions process, coalition warfare, and the future organizational construct of space forces.

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Aryan Dale

Referenced during the interview:
Chinese Anti-Satellite Test
US Shoots Down Dying Satellite
National Defense Authorization Act of 2016

The views expressed are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or the U.S. Government.

General (ret.) William L. Shelton was the Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He also commanded all Department of Defense space operations during such internationally significant events as the Chinese antisatellite test and the North Korean Taepo Dong launch. General Shelton oversaw Air Force network operations; managed a global network of satellite command and control, communications, missile warning and space launch facilities; and was responsible for space system development and acquisition. He led more than 42,000 professionals assigned to 134 locations worldwide. Upon retirement, General Shelton is a Trustee with the Aerospace Corporation and serves on the National Space Foundation board. He regularly consults with Northrup Grumman and General Dynamics.

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