spaceconnect logo

We’ll make collaborating easier, pledges US Air Force

One of the US Air Force’s most senior figures told the Australian Space Summit & Exhibition that the Pentagon is trying to make it easier for commercial companies to collaborate with them.

Kristyn E. Jones, who recently performed the duties of the Under Secretary, admitted that there had been times when technology was integrated vertically, which made it “very difficult” for the US to work with industry.

“Having those more open architectures helps to connect the world better and to work between commercial businesses and defence industry,” she said.

It comes after Space Connect reported last week how the US is edging closer to launching a landmark initiative that will allow commercial space technology to be integrated within US military units for the first time.


Speaking at the ICC in Sydney, Jones – who is now serving as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller – also warned that China is “increasingly assertive” and is now the “pacing challenge”.

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] represents the most comprehensive and serious challenge to our collective security. For at least the last two decades, China has been building a military to directly counter our capabilities and our ability to safeguard our interests in the Pacific.

“They are rapidly advancing and integrating their capabilities, often surpassing our estimates.

“China is also watching events unfold in Ukraine, where Russia is testing our collective resolve. If we fail to provide the needed support to Ukraine and if we allow Russia to prevail, China may draw the conclusion that we lacked the will to preserve the international norms against aggression that we fought side by side over 100 years ago.


“War is not inevitable, not with the PRC, or anyone else. We do not seek conflict, our strategy is to deter and we have every hope that we can avoid conflict.

“As a nation, we want China to succeed, but to succeed by working within the rules-based international order that benefits all nations. But if deterrence fails, we must be ready to fight and to win, both now and in the future.”

Jones headlined Space Connect’s summit alongside Brigadier General Anthony J. Mastalir, the commander of the US Space Force’s Indo-Pacific team.

Appearing on stage earlier, he told delegates Australia was now his country’s closest ally and the relationship had grown “more meaningful and perhaps more consequential” over the last two years.

“Space Force guardians work hand in hand with our allies and partners in this region to support and preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said on stage. “And none is closer than our allies here in Australia.”

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect.