Senator Opposes Pentagon Plan To Downgrade Space Command

March 10, 2006

Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) has told the Defense Department he will oppose any Air Force proposal to downgrade its U.S. Space Command and said he is asking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to justify the Pentagon's plan.

The Space Command's headquarters, currently in Colorado Springs, Colo., would be relocated to the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Neb., under the plan, and the space operation would be downgraded to a division within the USSC.

Allard, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on military construction and veterans' affairs, said the 2001 Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization had concluded that "the security and well being of the United States, its allies and friends depend on the nation's ability to operate in space… The pursuit of U.S. national interests in space requires leadership by the president and senior officials."

Secretary Rumsfeld chaired the commission.

"Space is critical to our armed forces," Allard said in a statement. "Nearly every military operation we carry out makes use of assets in space in one way or another, be it using our satellites to locate the position of the enemy, providing instant communications or gathering dependable intelligence."

Allard said he has asked Rumsfeld "to provide me with information on whether he is supportive of those in the Air Force who wish to reduce the importance of space within that particular service."

In a March 1 letter to the Defense Secretary, Allard wrote: "Despite this national security imperative, it appears that the Department of Defense has not been devoting sufficient attention to enhancing and defending our nation's space dominance. In fact, several recent management and organizational changes suggest that this trend is accelerating, much to the detriment of our nation's security."

The letter continues, "A more recent example is the on-going discussions within the Air Force regarding the reorganization of its various components. These discussions have included the possible reduction of the rank of the Commander of Air Force Space Command from a four-star major command to a three-star billet and the transfer of Air Force Space and Missile Command to Air Force Material Command."

Allard called the Air Force "the Department of Defense's executive agent for space" and said the service "remains responsible for executing most of the department's resources for space research, development, acquisition and operations. This mission requires leadership with sufficient rank and credibility to ensure that space remains a top priority within the Air Force and that sufficient resources are allocated for this purpose."

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: How could DSCOVR help in exoplanet hunting?

Related Stories

How could DSCOVR help in exoplanet hunting?

November 24, 2015

Could a space weather satellite be helpful in exoplanet hunting? Well, it now turns out it could. According to a team of scientists led by Stephen Kane from the San Francisco State University, the Deep Space Climate Observatory ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...

NASA finds new way to track ocean currents from space

November 3, 2015

A team of NASA and university scientists has developed a new way to use satellite measurements to track changes in Atlantic Ocean currents, which are a driving force in global climate. The finding opens a path to better monitoring ...

Recommended for you

Revealing glacier flow with animated satellite images

November 26, 2015

Frank Paul, a glaciologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, has created animations from satellite images of the Karakoram mountain range in Asia to show how its glaciers flow and change. The images of four different ...

Hubble captures a galactic waltz

November 26, 2015

This curious galaxy—only known by the seemingly random jumble of letters and numbers 2MASX J16270254+4328340—has been captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope dancing the crazed dance of a galactic merger. The ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.