Senator Opposes Pentagon Plan To Downgrade Space Command

Mar 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: Image: Rosetta's comet looms

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

GPIM spacecraft to validate use of "green" propellant

Aug 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Milestone progress is being made in readying NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for launch in 2016, a smallsat designed to test the unique attributes of a high-performance, non-toxic, ...

Bacterial nanowires: Not what we thought they were

Aug 18, 2014

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of "electric bacteria" that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety ...

Recommended for you

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

5 minutes ago

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

A salty, martian meteorite offers clues to habitability

51 minutes ago

Life as we know it requires energy of some sort to survive and thrive. For plants, that source of energy is the Sun. But there are some microbes that can survive using energy from chemical reactions. Some ...

User comments : 0