Donley Wants Executive Agent Role for Space Back

Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told lawmakers earlier this week that he wants USAF to regain milestone decision authority for major military space programs, a responsibility that the Office of the Secretary of Defense removed from the service in March 2005 and has yet to relinquish. The Air Force “should be taking steps internally to raise confidence in its ability to manage space programs and carry out its responsibilities as DOD executive agent for space” such that the MDA “would be returned … at the earliest opportunity,” Donley wrote in his response to advance questions posed to him by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing on July 22. But the aspiring Secretary may have an uphill battle as Pentagon acquisition boss John Young made it abundantly clear earlier this month that he intends to retain this oversight in his office. “I fundamentally disagree that a single service should have the total acquisition decision authority and milestone authority for a set of programs, as was done in space,” Young told a House oversight panel during a July 10 hearing.