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: NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US company sells out of Ebola toys

5 hours ago

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

UN biodiversity meet commits to double funding

5 hours ago

A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources wrapped up Friday with governments making a firm commitment to double biodiversity aid to developing countries by 2015.

Partial solar eclipse over the U.S. on Thursday, Oct. 23

6 hours ago

People in most of the continental United States will be in the shadow of the Moon on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 23, as a partial solar eclipse sweeps across the Earth. For people looking through sun-safe filters, from Los Angeles, ...

Recommended for you

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

6 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

10 hours ago

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper ...

Big black holes can block new stars

13 hours ago

Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.

MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

13 hours ago

NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.

User comments : 0