Forum for discussing national security issues.
May 13, 2020 – NSF Virtual May Forum: Space Wars: The Force Awakens

May 13, 2020 – NSF Virtual May Forum: Space Wars: The Force Awakens

May 13, 2020 – Space Wars: The Force Awakens

John C. McNellis

Consultant to Department of Defense (Washoe Lake, Nevada)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) via Google Meet

If you are an NSF member, you will receive an invitation by email to this online event. Please check your email and RSVP your attendance. If you would like to attend this meeting, become a member today!

NSF is honored to have John McNellis present an overview of the newest branch of the U.S. Military, the Space Force. Please join us for a stimulating discussion about how the Space Force fits with the U.S. Air Force, how it has been set up, what threats it is designed to counter, and what other countries have done the same.

After much debate, the Space Force was authorized by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in response to ever-growing unique threats in space.  

  • There are currently over a hundred U.S. military and intelligence satellites in orbit, providing critical national security capabilities; 
  • Adversaries are developing weapon systems with the potential to deny, degrade and destroy our space capabilities; and
  • They understand our reliance on space for both defense and offense, and they understand the competitive advantage we derive from space … and they’re developing capabilities faster than us, eroding our lead.

In the face of these threats, the mission of the Space Force is to organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.  This presentation will characterize the threats and how the Space Force is being organized to address them.

John McNellis is currently a consultant to the Department of Defense.  Until 2017, He was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, Strategic and Intelligence Systems.  He was responsible for acquisition strategy and oversight of a $70B portfolio of space, intelligence and nuclear Major Defense Acquisition Programs.  His prior 40-year industry career spanned the range from system architect to program manager to senior corporate executive with profit and loss responsibility for a $4B group with 17,000 employees, predominantly focused on delivery of air and space intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and battle management systems to domestic and international customers.  John graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. degree in Physics.  He later earned a M.S. in Physics from UCLA and a M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.