The March 28 letter directs Wynne’s undersecretary, Ronald Sega, to formulate a plan by June 1 for establishing the Air Force Space Special Projects organization .
The new organization should be up and running by Aug. 1, according to Wynne’s letter, which also was sent to the commanders of Air Force Space Command and the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
The new organization should provide “lean, agile, and responsive space development and demonstration capability,” and take advantage of the work and practices of both existing and emerging offices across the Pentagon and other agencies, Wynne said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Space News.
“I believe this organization will enable the [Air Force] to provide more timely and effective space capabilities and reestablish us as the center of excellence for space systems development and acquisition,” Wynne wrote.
The new organization should have direct links to other government departments that deal with space, like the Missile Defense Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Wynne wrote. It should also maintain a connection to military organizations like the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, which was established in 2003 and reports directly to the Air Force secretary and chief of staff.
Wynne’s letter notes that a previous organization, which also was called the Air Force Space Special Projects organization , developed innovative capabilities quickly by virtue of having its own culture and management practices. That predecessor organization focused on classified work, and was disbanded in the 1990s, according to a Pentagon source.
A similar organization today could provide a crucial link for taking capabilities from the science and technology arena into procurement, Wynne wrote.
While the Air Force will continue to build complex satellites like GPS and communications spacecraft that require long development timelines, the new organization may be able to field promising capabilities on a compressed schedule, according to Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, acting commander of Air Force Space Command.
A key focus of the new office could be small satellites that can be launched on short notice in response to emerging tactical needs, Klotz said during an April 6 roundtable discussion with reporters at the 22nd annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.