Space Force lobbies for $1 billion extra


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The Space Force has put forth an extra wish list of missions/projects that require an $1 billion more above the $15 billion the agency has already requested in the next federal budget for 2021.

While about 10 percent of the request is for classified programs, the remaining funding runs the gamut, from bolstering space situational awareness to accelerating the development of navigational satellites to establishing new commercial satellite communication capabilities in low earth orbit.

Overall this wish list appears properly focused, aimed at upgrading or improving existing space military assets rather than growing the Space Force’s bureaucracy. We shall see over time if this proves true. I can’t help having doubts.

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4 comments

  • Tom Billings

    Remember that while this has the *name* of “Space Force” on it, the past history of these programs is all USAF. Until Congress allows other volunteers from other Services than the AF to provide personnel for Space Force (and Space Force’s own February Report to Congress talked about it only for Fiscal Year 2022) this is the same people, with a culture that is too slowly changing from AF to SF. Why????

    Congress wants to know that the deals their committee members struck during previous years for procurement contracts are going to be in the heads of the people from SF they keep talking to while those previous deals are played out. Desired changes in Space Force in procurement are exactly those that Congress members do*not* want interfering with what they have told their corporate vassals in the past. Congress wants change that doesn’t affect their ability to express *their* agency costs from the top of the funding hierarchy on down.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Tom,

    It is my understanding the problem you suggest is why USSF was created in the first place.

    Congress allocated money to USAF, with the intent for certain dollar amounts to Space Command (as it existed previously as a USAF command). USAF would say they need X number of dollars, but then at some point, the USAF bean counters moved some money around for.. other things. As a result, officers in Space Command complained that they never got the money they needed.

    Now, technically as a separate service, funding designated for it should be harder (tho not impossible) to shift around. It provides some better protection.

    For example, the USMC has the ability to accept bids and acquire equipment on its own, even though they are subsidiary of the Navy. They still have to get the stamp of approval from the CNO, et al, but they have their own means. This is the model that is hoped for USSF.

    I went look to see if Title 10 has been updated yet on the US House site. I am guessing the details are still being hammered out.

    As for the additional billion, I think they know they need to be careful for a few years. Being the new kid on the block, and being under a microscope, they know they need to spend carefully. Wait for them to be established for a few years. Then the bureaucracy will bloom.

    Side note: I have a few friends who are current or retired USAF. They think this was a positive move in general, but when they hear “Space Force” they roll their eyes, saying it sounds cartoonish. They wished they would have put more thought into a better name. Even Space Guard (similar to Coast Guard) would have been mildly better.

  • wodun

    Side note: I have a few friends who are current or retired USAF. They think this was a positive move in general, but when they hear “Space Force” they roll their eyes, saying it sounds cartoonish. They wished they would have put more thought into a better name. Even Space Guard (similar to Coast Guard) would have been mildly better.

    The Space Guard is a totally different concept. It is a pretty good one. I think we need a Space Force and a Space Guard. I’d have preferred to see a Space Guard first. It is more of a constabulary concept that would help us expand our influence while taking on some important protective, but not explicitly military, roles.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Wodun

    You said “The Space Guard is a totally different concept”.

    Elaborate please. I am not sure what your referring to, unless you are trying to draw a direct analogy to USCG’s law enforcement roles.

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