WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican representing Colorado Springs, was named chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee.
HASC Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), on Jan. 25 announced the committee’s seven subcommittee chairs for the 118th Congress.
The strategic forces subcommittee oversees missile defense, national security space and Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs.
Lamborn told SpaceNews that he has laid out several key priorities the strategic forces subcommittee will focus on this year.
One is hypersonic weapons, including DoD’s development of offensive hypersonic missiles and defenses against enemies’ hypersonic weapons.
“We really need to catch up with hypersonics,” said Lamborn. “China and to some extent Russia are far ahead of us … and I am not convinced that the Biden Administration has a well thought out plan to address the Chinese threat.”
A second priority is Space Force acquisitions of next-generation technologies. “We need to streamline space acquisition,” he said. “A major thrust for why the Space Force was created was to streamline space acquisition and make sure the right investments are made in advanced space capabilities.”
Also on Lamborn’s watch list is the Space Force’s procurement of national security launch services and efforts to develop responsive launch capabilities. “The bottom line is we need to have a robust capacity to get our assets into space every time the need arises,” he said. “So we’ll continue giving a lot of attention to that.”
Lamborn said he has met several times with the new chief of the U.S. Space Force Gen. B. Chance Saltzman. “We’re definitely working together,” he said.
The subcommittee will continue to investigate options to establish a reserve component for the Space Force, which has been a “thorny issue” for the past two years, he said. “We certainly will keep looking at it.”
On missile defense, Lamborn said, the focus will be on ensuring the U.S. is protected from North Korea’s long-range ballistic missiles.