Story by Master Sgt. David Eichaker, Michigan National Guard
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan National Guard (MING) is expanding its technological capabilities by partnering with a Michigan based company focusing on space domain integration by linking deep space technology to operational and tactical fires.
“Space is vital to national security and this partnership demonstrates an enduring solution for the Department of Defense Joint Fires applications by integrating the space domain from joint targeting to battle damage assessment,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director, Department of Michigan Veteran Affairs. “The technology Orbital Effects offers is near-real time direct downlink of satellite radar imagery and intelligence data from space to tactical user within minutes of overflight and demonstrates the rapid integration of technology prototyping and capability evolution into emerging Joint All Domain doctrine.”
The Michigan Guard and Orbital Effects, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, teamed up to jointly advance emerging doctrine and develop associated tactics, techniques and procedures. The Guard offers the use of their facilities for Michigan-based defense industrial base companies to demonstrate and test their technologies.
“The Michigan Guard identified a need to integrate the Space Domain into the National All Domain Warfighting Center and Orbital Effects identified a need to develop and test their sensor to tactical end-user techniques and procedures,” said Ryan Farris, co-founder and chief financial officer, Orbital Effects. “This agreement benefits both organizations and originated during an industry day held at the 2020 Northern Strike Exercise at Camp Grayling, Michigan.”
This partnership serves as a vehicle for MING to develop future partnerships with sensor-to-end-users, Army Futures Command, and to be the Army’s platform for space-based joint fires integration and effects delivery.
“Our technology provides a theater level direct tasking and dissemination service model that enables tactical commanders to directly/dynamically-task/or re-task an asset as part of an integrated intelligence plan,” said Farris. “This space based radar technology promotes operational and tactical intelligence systems as a way to increase effectiveness of the joint force.” Others agreed the partnership and advanced space technologies serves a bigger purpose. Space-based capabilities are integral to the Michigan National Guard and are an indispensable component of U.S. military power. One base located in northern Michigan is receiving first-hand experience with this technology. Camp Grayling, the largest Army maneuver training center in the reserve component, is a premier, full-spectrum, four-season joint training center and provides year round, customer-focused training support and high quality facilities to enable military commanders and civilian leaders to meet their unit readiness requirements.
“As a premier, world class Joint Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling is a leader in providing efficient, unparalleled and the highest level of modern training,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Kent Smith, Camp Grayling, Michigan National Guard. “This provides an enduring solution for Department of Defense Joint Fires applications.”
“This also integrates space from joint targeting and supports current and emergent Army modernization priorities and serve as a preferred option for program testing requirements supporting all-domain warfare to include Space,” said Smith.