Not One Extra Dime

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command boss, on Thursday gave a frank assessment of the future of the service’s space and cyberspace portfolio: times are tough budget-wise, getting tougher, and don’t expect more help. “There won’t be additional money. Let me say that again: there won’t be additional money,” Shelton told the audience at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. Air Force space professionals must focus on internal approaches to free up money for the missions they must perform, “such as maintaining the Global Positioning System constellation, military satellite communications, and many others,” he said. The current environment is a “huge leadership challenge for all of us,” and, as such, the command must look at some new ways of doing business, such as procuring its launch vehicles under a “block buy” concept, crunching down on expansive requirements for missions, and building “cost-resilient architectures” for programs, said Shelton. Wholesale budget cuts, looming in the shadow of Congress’ current deliberations, would have “cascading effects” on all of the Defense Department, which depends intimately on space power, he said. AFSPC needs to do everything it can to preserve combat capability, Shelton added.