Not As Bad as it Looks

No one should be alarmed that Air Force Space Command’s budget is dropping 22 percent from Fiscal 2012 to Fiscal 2013, Gen. William Shelton, AFSPC commander, told reporters Thursday. That reduction really doesn’t reflect “what we’re doing in the space budget,” he noted during a media roundtable in Washington, D.C. While that cut “may look alarmingly high,” the Fiscal 2012 funding level actually “was artificially high,” explained Shelton. For example, the Fiscal 2012 budget includes funding as directed by Congress for an “extra” Wideband Global Satellite Communications satellite, he said. Another difference is that the Fiscal 2013 request includes no funding for the Defense Weather Satellite System program that Congress has terminated, said Shelton. Looked at comprehensively, the Fiscal 2013 budget request has “protected the foundational space capabilities—missile warning satellites, military communications satellites, GPS,” he said. “All those are protected and very healthy.”