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House Appropriators Demand Progress in Space Force Acquisitions

Capitol Hill

House Appropriators Demand Progress in Space Force Acquisitions

House defense appropriators have told Space Force leaders that the service is not making enough progress in acquisition programs

Rep. Betty McCollum, chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, said the Space Force’s acquisition direction has not changed much since it inherited its major programs from the Air Force Space Command in December 2019, SpaceNews reported.

“Too often over the past two decades, space acquisition programs have been delivered late and over budget — sometimes billions of dollars over budget. The intent of establishing the Space Force was to fix these issues,” Collum told service officials during a posture hearing. 

McCollum cited Government Accountability Office reports highlighting issues with programs related to missile warning satellites and the Global Positioning System’s ground systems, among others. 

She also criticized the Air Force for not already having a Senate-confirmed civilian space acquisition leader, a role that the service is required to fill by October 2022. 

According to McCollum, the senior civilian acquisition leader would be responsible for program plans and budgets and for fitting them into the service’s overall strategy.

John Roth, acting secretary of the Air Force, said the service is working to fill the role as fast as possible. He claimed that the role was supposed to be filled last year but remained vacant for reasons beyond the Air Force’s control.

He added that the Air Force and Space Force are also working to speed up the acquisition process by eliminating bureaucratic layers and delegating authority. 

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Category: Space

Tags: acquisition Air Force Air Force Space Command appropriations Betty McCollum Congress Department of Defense GAO Government Accountability Office John Roth space Space Force SpaceNews