WASHINGTON — A report recommending changes in how military space systems are funded and acquired will be sent to Congress in the next few days, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond said April 7.
Speaking on a video chat hosted by the Mitchell Institute, Raymond said the recommendations in the report are intended to help the Space Force “go fast” in the development and fielding of new systems.
Raymond said he could not discuss the specific proposals because the report has not yet been delivered to Congress. He said the recommended changes “will give us more flexibility, and help us on requirements on the front end.”
Accelerating the pace of acquisitions is important in order to stay ahead of adversaries that are developing anti-satellite weapons, said Raymond.
Two recent studies by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Secure World Foundation catalog the technological advances made by China and Russia in the development of space weapons that could physically take down U.S. military satellites. These studies also warn that nations and non-state actors increasingly are able to interfere with satellite signals using low-cost electronic jammers.
“I’m very concerned” about these developments, said Raymond. “The space capabilities we operate are critical and we need to be able to protect them,” he said. Right now “I’m very comfortable we have capabilities to protect and defend but I’m more concerned with our ability to go fast and stay ahead of the threat,” Raymond said. “Clearly our superiority margin is diminishing.”
Raymond said he was closely involved in drafting the acquisition report and called it a “bold” proposal.
Another area of focus for the Space Force now is the 2022 budget request, which Raymond called “our first ever budget.” The 2021 budget was essentially a transfer of accounts from Air Force to Space Force program lines.
“We’re also working on culture and outreach” efforts, he said. “The seal, the song, the uniforms, those things are important to our service members.”