If combat pilots are the pop stars of the Air Force, software developers, as well as app developers, may be called the Space Force‘s fighter jocks. “Technology influences what we’re doing in the Space Force,” stated 1st Lieutenant. Jackie Smith, who operates a Space Force software basic training called the “supra coders” by its graduates. The first boot camp occurred in January, enrolled 28 military as well as civilian personnel, according to Smith, an Air Force officer as well as software expert who will soon move to the Space Force.

The 28 were chosen from a pool of over 300 applicants. Smith says SpaceNews that the software is very selective. Supra coders, she explained, is a play on the service’s slogan, Semper Supra, which means “always above.” The Space Force plans to conduct coding boot camps on a frequent basis in order to create a cadre of about 400 software developers who will be allocated to places around the globe that perform tasks such as satellite operations, space traffic control, and space data analysis.

In a commander’s action plan published in November, Chief of Space Operations General John Raymond called for a technologically minded force that utilizes technology in creative ways. In December 2019, the Space Force was formed as a separate military branch to deal with evolving national security challenges in space, such as the anti-satellite weapons. Raymond lobbied for a senior position in his office devoted to supporting technological innovation as long as Space Force was passed into law. As the Space Force’s chief technology and innovation officer, or CTIO, he preferred Major. Gen. Kimberly Crider. Crider previously served as the chief data officer for the Air Force.

Crider’s position was clarified by General David Thompson, vice chief in charge of space operations. Thompson stated last fall at the National Defense Industrial Association conference, “She is developing a core set of awareness and training exercises that every single person of the Space Force would be needing.”

One of Crider’s duties, according to her, would be to establish standards for use of the data in all Space Force operations. She stated at an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting, “We want to use digital technology and digital skills in everything we do, and we want to build a digital workforce.”

Crider tapped Smith, a software developer, to serve at the CTIO office as well as help chart the way forward while she was on duty at the Space Vehicles Directorate of Air Force Research Laboratory situated in New Mexico.


By Adam

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