By Mary Ann Roney, Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Air Force space budget for fiscal year 2001 provides all necessary components to continue to organize, train and equip the nation’s premier space and missile force at Air Force Space Command.
According to Brig. Gen. Brian Arnold, Director Space and Nuclear Deterrence, Secretary of the Air Force, Acquisition, "As a whole, the AFSPC Operations and Maintenance budget has remained relatively constant over the last few years."
The FY 01 space budget (including O&M, procurement, research, development, testing and evaluation) is $8.8 billion, which is approximately 9 percent of the Air Force’s total budget.
As in the past, this new budget reflects concern about military readiness and continues to address the modernization of weapons and support systems both at the national and command levels.
AFSPC project areas that are seeing funding increases are wide-ranging, said Arnold.
Global Positioning System modernization, upgrades to the GPS Operational Control System and Anti-Jam development and testing dollars are growing substantially, virtually doubling from the FY 2000 budget. GPS satellites provide extremely accurate three-dimensional location information (latitude, longitude and altitude), velocity and precise time to military and civilian users all over the world for navigational purposes.
Space Based Infrared System – High will see a budget increase of over $148 million, [according to Arnold’s briefing], which will enable the project to comply with DoD full-funding policy and implement a procurement policy to reduce concurrency risk. SBIRS gives the warfighter critical information in the area of missile warning, missile defense and battlefield warning.
While overall Milstar funding will decrease in FY 01, the dollars for satellite sustainment engineering will be augmented slightly. Milstar is a joint service satellite communications system that provides secure, jam resistant, worldwide communications requirements for military users.
The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, EELV, (the Air Force’s space lift modernization program) will adjust funding up over 50% in order to match launch schedule changes and to correct for congressional reductions.
Some AFSPC programs that maintained resource allocation without an increase or decrease are the Eastern and Western launch range funding which held firm at about $550 million and the Defense Support Program, which is a key part of North America’s early warning system.
"There are, however, a few significant cuts in the budget," Arnold said.
These include GPS II procurement and launch schedule adjustment. As well as, the National Polar Orbiting Environmental System restructuring resulting in a 25% loss of funding. Also the Space Architect program has moved from Air Force control to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
On the whole, the proposed budget continues to expand the technology and funding necessary to deploy a National Missile Defense system and to upgrade the aging ICBM force. It also provides for research and development of emerging missions and will help encourage AFSPC goals.