Doing More Without More

The space mission remains a “deeply held” part of Air Force functions, but Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton challenged USAF and industry leaders Thursday to figure out a way to do “more without more.” As the Defense Department moves into a fiscally constrained environment and looks to shave billions of dollars from its overhead, space programs are going to have to compete not only against other Air Force priorities, but DOD priorities as well, Conaton said in her address at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. That means officials are going to have to do a “better job of convincing” the Pentagon that costs associated with those programs are justifiable, she said. “It’s not enough to demonstrate the warfighters’ need for capability, and we know that need exists. We have to also show that this is a good value for the taxpayers’ investment,” stated Conaton. She added, “To be good stewards of the space mission in this emerging budget environment, we simply have to make our programs more competitive.”