Former CIA director and 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo paid a visit to Kennedy Center HQ of Starfighters Space Inc. (“Starfighters” or “The Company”), on December 5th. He witnessed a test flight of an F-104 Starfighter and was on the tarmac to welcome Captain Rick Svetkoff and he exited the aircraft.
Pompeo and Svetkoff had a private conversation and the two entered the Starfighters hangar where they discussed future plans for Starfighters.
Pompeo had been at Starfighters to provide his take on the United States’ challenge to return to global hypersonic dominance.
Pompeo not only presented in clear detail the challenges ahead and the absolute strategic requirement to gain and maintain leadership, but he also called out Starfighters pivotal role in both hypersonic research and testing, and space access, showing his support for the Starfighters dual mission of speed and space.
Pompeo sat with legendary Shuttle Commander and decorated fighter pilot Fred Gregory, as Starfighters founder and CEO Rick Svetkoff went from the pilot seat to the presentation stage to present the Company. Svetkoff and Starfighters VP of Operations, Tim Franta, presented the Starfighters story along with
showcasing the Company’s new branding and positioning. Pompeo took the stage next and captivated the attendees with a powerful speech, even hinting at his potential return to politics. But Pompeo’s presentation became more impactful when he turned to Starfighters:
“When you have a crisis, you need innovation, dynamism, and creativity. And that is where we find America’s best engineering talent and dynamic, small, innovative companies like Starfighters. They fill an incredible space, an incredible niche that can’t be replicated any place else in the world.” — 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
Later in the day, former Astronaut and NASA Director Fred Gregory also spoke about hypersonic research, space access and the need for companies like Starfighters Space. As a decorated combat pilot and shuttle commander, Gregory commanded the attention of the crowd as he took them through the importance of rapid access to low earth orbit and shared some of his own experiences as a spacecraft commander.
Mr. Pompeo took a moment to frame the public private partnership opportunities and the critical nature of how Starfighters can play a role.
The former Director of the CIA clearly laid out the mission at hand. In his comments to the audience regarding the hypersonic gap between China and the USA, Pompeo framed what he saw as the Starfighters critical advantage to the US.
Highlights from Pompeo’s Starfighters speech:
“A piece of what is done here will have massive military and national security applications, but we have the unique ability to deliver commercial activity right alongside that. The reason that you can invest in a company like Starfighters, is that the commercial demand that we will deliver in many of our technology spaces will begin as a security project, will be amplified and propelled and base lines established by them, but commercial actors will see that they too have tremendous benefit from them.” — 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
“It happens that the commercial space, where Starfighters will be able to deliver, will deliver massive benefits for the military and national security mission set as well.” — 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
“Starfighters, I am convinced is one of a handful of companies that can deliver, is the ability to close this gap in a time period that matters to the United States of America.” — 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
“When you look at the markets that Starfighters intends to serve, they are real and genuine, and necessary. And I am convinced that Starfighters, along with others, will deliver great outcomes to the American people, in terms of productivity and creativity, and great outcomes that will protect my family and yours in the years and decades ahead.” — 70th US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo