BREAKING: New Space Acquisition Regime to Pay 'Significant Dividends'

By Mandy Mayfield

Image: iStock

An overdue report to Congress recommending changes to the space acquisition process will be delivered to Congress in the coming days, the Space Force’s chief of space operations said May 20.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 — the legislation that created the Space Force — tasked the military service with developing a new acquisition processes, purpose-built for space by March 2020, Air Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond said during a call with reporters.

“We've completed that work. It's in the final — I mean the very final stages,” he said. “I would expect that to be released to Congress here very, very imminently— in a matter of days.”

Raymond declined to go into details regarding the report but mentioned a few key points. “The cornerstones of [the report] are increased flexibility, being able to move at speed, coming up with opportunities for further delegation and streamlining,” he said.

While writing the recommendations, the Space Force partnered with a number of organizations that deal with space acquisitions such as the National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and the Missile Defense Agency, Raymond said.

The service worked with “anybody that had a role in acquisitions, specifically as it relates to space and got the best authorities ... from each of them and custom-built and expanded on those to deliver what I think will be a process that will pay significant dividends for us," he said.

The National Defense Authorization Act also mandated the creation of a space acquisition council, he said. Although Raymond is not a member of the council, he still participates in discussions, he said. The group recently had its first meeting and Raymond asked that the council meet for an “out-of-cycle” gathering to focus on issues related to the defense industrial base. 

Meanwhile, Raymond said he is concerned about the COVID-19 related economic downturn affecting the space industrial base as programs across the board are being disrupted.

“I am concerned about the industrial base, and you would expect me to be so," he said.

Topics: Space