Lawmakers Call DOD Space Effort “Disappointing”

Congress has challenged the Pentagon’s efforts in three areas—development of a space cadre, improvement in the acquisition process, and creation of operationally responsive space systems. They maintain that DOD’s insufficient improvement in these areas “diminish US preeminence in space and threaten national security.” Lawmakers included this resounding denouncement as an item of special interest in the 2006 defense policy bill. They were short on solutions, though. They did praise the space cadre initiatives undertaken by the Air Force, but they want the Pentagon to be “more aggressive” in developing education and training programs and broaden its approach to include other government agencies, industry, and academia. To improve space acquisition, lawmakers suggest DOD address issues of workforce size and quality and program technical maturity. They also would like to see an “alternative and complementary business model” designed to increase production rate and lower costs. Who wouldn’t? Oh, they urge DOD to develop “vision and initiative” to get the ball rolling faster on ORS.