(Tribune News Service) – The nation’s newest service is fraught with old problems that are slowing down the deployment of new equipment and carving huge holes even in the Pentagon‘s massive budget, the House Armed Services Committee warned in a memo this month.
The committee conveyed this message in a memorandum attached to its version of the Department of Defense budget. The committee, chaired by Washington Democratic MP Adam Smith, also fears that the Space Force was no different from what it once was, the Air Force’s space arm.
“The committee remains concerned that the Air Force has not taken more aggressive action to resolve long-standing space procurement problems and has made little progress in defining what the Space Force will do that is fundamentally different is different from that when she was part of the Air Force. “Complained the legislature.
For a generation, lawmakers, generals, and defense leaders have complained that it takes the military too long to build new satellite systems and spend too much money on what it buys. The committee stole a sentence from General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in which he called the costly and almost obsolete mammoth satellites “big juicy targets.”
“The Space Force lacks a clear plan that defines its future space architecture, and lacks a strategy for how that architecture will be acquired,” said the committee. “The plans to establish the new Space Systems Command acquisition unit are primarily to rename the Space and Missile Systems Center and incorporate existing space launch units.”
The memo sends a clear and important message to the bosses of the Space Force: stop wasting money in ways that don’t make America safer.
With that in mind, here’s a simple proposal that will save the Pentagon $ 1.2 billion: keep the US Space Command where it is.
The move of Command and its 1,400 soldiers to Alabama was a decision made by President Donald Trump at the White House last week and widely criticized as a party-political derailment of military needs.
Building a new headquarters for the command alone would cost $ 1.2 billion. That total does not include the enormous amount of infrastructure required to make the site work, nor does it take into account that many of the civilian workers who help the Command keep the peace in orbit do not plan to go to Alabama pack.
The move also distracts executives who should be concerned about threats to American satellites by loading their desks with the bureaucracy that comes with every major military move. Imagine having to take care of the security of the Global Positioning System full time, looking at color samples and carpet samples at the same time.
The military’s space efforts over the past 60 years have been marked by silly spending, from funding the 1960s program to put well-armed astronauts into orbit as human spy satellites, to a space-based radar system that was canceled after the Leader who found technology wanted to buy was not invented.
That legacy must change now. The Space Force’s chief commander, Gen. Jay Raymond, has repeatedly admonished his forces to move faster to address threats and see the new commercial space industry as an example of the way forward.
Moving Space Command may slow this effort down for years. And few companies would choose to set up a successful, well-supported company for political reasons.
Nonetheless, the committee remains confident that with strong new leadership and a greater sense of urgency, the Space Force can move on from its procurement problems and provide the capabilities the nation needs, the lawmakers wrote.
© Colorado Springs Gazette.
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The chief of space operations for the US Space Force displays the uniform name tapes for the service at the Pentagon Jan. 17, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia (Robert Barnett / US Air Force)