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 spaceā€¦ 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: The origins of local planetary orbits

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SpaceX's next cargo launch set for Sept 20

Sep 12, 2014

SpaceX's next unmanned cargo trip to restock supplies at the International Space Station is scheduled for September 20, the US space agency said Friday.

Image: NASA's RapidScat payload

Sep 05, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat wind-watching scatterometer, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Sept. 19, will be the first science payload to be robotically assembled in ...

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

Sep 23, 2014

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

NASA launches RapidScat wind watcher to Space Station

Sep 22, 2014

A new NASA mission that will boost global monitoring of ocean winds for improved weather forecasting and climate studies is among about 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of NASA science investigations and cargo ...

Recommended for you

The origins of local planetary orbits

1 hour ago

A plutino is an asteroid-sized body that orbits the Sun in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune. They are named after Pluto, which also orbits the Sun twice for every three orbits of Neptune. It is thought that Pluto ...

Wild ducks take flight in open cluster

1 hour ago

The Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has taken this beautiful image, dappled with blue stars, of one of the most star-rich open clusters currently ...

Image: The Pillars of Creation

2 hours ago

The Pillars of Creation (seen above) is an image of a portion of the Eagle nebula (M16) taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. It soon became one of the most iconic space images of all time. The Eagle nebula ...

Student to live in simulated space habitat

2 hours ago

A Purdue University industrial engineering doctoral student is among six "crew members" spending the next eight months in a domed habitat on a volcanic landscape mimicking life on a Martian outpost.

The wake-up call that sent hearts racing

5 hours ago

"But as the minutes ticked by, the relaxed attitude of many of us began to dissolve into apprehension. Our levels of adrenaline and worry began to rise."

User comments : 0