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The Pentagon’s Plan to Pepper Space With Surveillance Satellites Takes Shape

 

Article by George Dvorsky January 22, 2020 (gizmodo.com)

• The first major initiative from the DoD’s new Space Development Agency (SDA) to to build the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). The NDSA will consist of seven layers, or “constellations” of the U.S. military. Launched in March 2019, the stated mission of the SDA is to unify and integrate the military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space, and to detect and knock out surface-to-air and hypersonic missiles on the Earth below. The SDA will become a part of the US Space Force in 2022.

• Speaking at a Pentagon briefing on January 21st, the director of the Space Development Agency, Derek Tournear., announced that the first layer of the NDSA, the ‘Transport Layer’, will consist of hundreds of surveillance satellites that will attain full global coverage by 2026. By as early as 2022, however, the Transport Layer should be capable of ‘regional coverage’, pinpointing targets on the ground or at sea and tracking advanced missiles.

• The seven NDSA ‘constellations’ are described as follows:
       • Transport Layer: to coordinate global military data and create a full range of “warfighter platforms”
       • Battle Management Layer: to facilitate mission command and data control
       • Tracking Layer: to provide global-tracking and targeting of missile threats
       • Custody Layer: to constantly track enemy missiles and missile launchers
       • Navigation Layer: to provide an alternative back-up to GPS navigation
       • Deterrence Layer: to deter hostile actions up to lunar distances
       • Support Layer: to enable integration between ground and space-based assets

• Under the plan, one new satellite will be constructed per week. Each satellite will be relatively small, weigh a “few hundred kilograms,” cost around $10 million, and have a life expectancy of around five years. To that end, the SDA issued a broad agency announcement that it is looking for commercial partners to help develop and implement these technologies. The SDA will be soliciting bids for the first batch of satellites in late spring 2020 and awarding contracts in the summer.

• The entire National Defense Space Architecture system will eventually involve thousands of satellites. Each layer will perform a different function, such as detecting incoming missiles, alerting ground forces of potential threats, keeping tabs on potentially hostile weapons systems, and augmenting navigational capabilities, among other important defense roles. Considering that Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink megaconstellation may deploy up to 45,000 internet satellites, low Earth-orbital space is quickly becoming cluttered.

 

New details have emerged about the Pentagon’s ambitious plan to build seven different defense constellations, the first of which will include hundreds of surveillance satellites that are expected to attain full global coverage in just six years.

Known as the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), it’s the first major initiative from the newly hatched Space Development Agency (SDA), a part of the Department of Defense.

             Derek Tournear

Once it’s built, the NDSA will consist of seven constellations, or “layers” in the parlance of the U.S. military. Each layer will perform a different function, such as detecting incoming missiles, alerting ground forces of potential threats, keeping tabs on potentially hostile weapons systems, and augmenting navigational capabilities, among other important defense roles.

Launched in March 2019, the SDA is “responsible for unifying and integrating [the Department of Defense’s] space development efforts, monitoring the department’s threat-driven future space architecture and accelerating the fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space,” according to a press release from the DoD. The agency is on track to become part of the U.S. Space Force in 2022.

Speaking at a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Derek Tournear, who was appointed director of the SDA in October 2019, said the first of these layers, the Transport Layer, will consist of several dozen satellites by the end of 2022, reported SpaceNews. Once at this early threshold, the system will “show that we can operate a proliferated constellation and that the constellation can talk to weapon systems,” said Tournear.

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Pence Briefed on Space Force Proposal at Pentagon Meeting

by Sandra Erwin                    December 19, 2018                        (spacenews.com)

• On Tuesday December 18th,Vice President Mike Pence announced President Trump’s Pentagon directive to establish a four star U.S. Space Command. While at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Tuesday, Pence said, “We’re working as we speak with leaders in both parties in Congress to stand up the United States Space Force before the end of 2020.”

• On Wednesday, VP Pence was at the Pentagon to receive a briefing on space operations and cyber defense. One of the topics was the Pentagon’s draft proposal, named SPD-4, establishing a Space Force as a sixth separate military branch. The directive is being finalized and could be signed by the president shortly after the new year.

• The SPD-4 directive would instruct Department of Defense to submit a legislative proposal on how the new service would be organized and a budget request. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said to reporters, “We’re right now in final coordination in the building on the legislative proposal.”

• The Space Force will most likely be initially organized under the Department of the Air Force. This approach would be less costly and more likely to get congressional support, experts said. The Air Force had already included an Air Force Space Command. Under this construct, Space Force would still meet the criteria to be considered a sixth service, said Thomas Taverney, the former vice commander of the Air Force Space Command.

• The Pentagon could keep costs under control by making the Space Force a leaner organization that does not require multiple layers of bureaucracy to get things done, Taverney said. “Maybe we can come up with a more efficient way to set up the organization.”

• One part of the plan that is still unresolved is the establishment of a preliminary Space Development Agency to accelerate innovation and insertion of commercial technology into space programs. Its functions and makeup have not yet been decided. A study team will have 60 days to complete this task. “What is it going to be? An overarching policy organization? A separate acquisition organization? Or a new acquisition organization that takes pieces from the others?” Taverney asked.

• Air Force brass is pushing for Fred Kennedy, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office, to head the Space Development Agency. Kennedy has past experience working at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and has ‘space acquisition’ expertise.

[Editor’s Note]   It now appears that the Deep State tentacles of the Air Force and DARPA are creeping into the creation and control of this supposedly “separate sixth branch of the military”. Is this the ‘Space Force’ that President Trump intended?

 

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Pentagon on Wednesday to receive a briefing on space operations and cyber defense. One of the topics was the proposal the Pentagon is drafting to establish a Space Force as a separate military branch.

Speaking with reporters shortly before Pence arrived at the Pentagon Wednesday morning, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the establishment of a Space Force was one item on the agenda. “We’re going to talk to him about a number of projects going on here in the building,” Shanahan said, according to a pool report.

Pence came to the Pentagon one day after announcing that President Trump directed the Defense Department to establish U.S. Space Command as a four-star combatant command. Speaking on Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Pence said Trump will also sign a new space policy directive in the coming days that will lay out plans and a timeline to create a U.S. Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed forces. “We’re working as we speak with leaders in both parties in Congress to stand up the United States Space Force before the end of 2020,” said Pence.

The new space policy directive, named SPD-4, is the fourth major space policy action by the Trump administration. According to sources, the directive is being finalized and could be signed by the president shortly after the new year. The policy memo would instruct DoD to submit a legislative proposal on how the new service would be organized and a budget request. The National Space Council, led by Pence, has been in back and forth coordination with DoD on the legislative proposal.

Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that the legislative proposal has not yet been shared with Congress. “We’re right now in final coordination in the building on the legislative proposal,” he said. “I think we’re still on the timeline. We’ve kind of all talked about it.”

DoD sources said the Space Force proposal will likely recommend organizing the new branch initially under the Department of the Air Force. This would make the Space Force comparable to the Marine Corps, which is part of the Department of the Navy. This approach would be less costly and more likely to get congressional support, experts said.

Organizing the Space Force under the Department of the Air Force is “probably the most logical way to solve this in the near term, said Thomas Taverney, a retired Air Force major general who served as vice commander of Air Force Space Command.

The Space Force under this construct would still meet the criteria to be considered a sixth service, Taverney told SpaceNews.

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New Pentagon Memo Lays Out Action Plan to Establish Space Force by 2020

by Sandra Erwin                     September 13, 2018                   (spacenews.com)

• A September 10th memo issued by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan entitled “Space Reorganization and Management Tasks” outlines a detailed plan of action to be taken to establish Space Force as the sixth independent branch of the United States military by the year 2020.

• The first order of business is to establish a ‘Space Command’ and the subordinate unified command by the end of 2018. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood are responsible for leading this effort.

• Next, the DOD will establish a Space Development Agency, led by Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. This agency “will initially focus on rapidly developing and fielding new space capabilities that leverage commercial space technology and access in support of warfighter and U.S. Space Command… consolidating space development efforts under the SDA as the equipping arm for the space warfighter, with an initial operating capacity in calendar year 2019”.

• A “Space Operations Forces” office will be set up to “produce a complete inventory of all forces and functions conducting or directly supporting space operations and designating space operations forces.”

• A new office of “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space” will be established to consolidate civilian oversight of space and outline how it could evolve into the future headquarters of the Space Force.

• The Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation will develop a five-year cost estimate. The memo says the budget should include the cost for the Space Force, the Space Development Agency, the Space Operations Forces, U.S. Space Command and the path for transferring space budgets to the Space Force.

• The establishment of the Space Force as a military branch must be approved by Congress and written into legislation. These reorganization and management directives will ultimately be written into a legislative proposal.

• A “Space Governance Committee” led by Shanahan will have the final word on any reorganization action and on the legislative proposal before it goes to the White House. Shanahan’s orders have short deadlines. Many of the tasks are due in the coming weeks, and the legislative proposal could arrive at the White House as early as Dec. 1, 2018.

• The Air Force, which owns 90 percent of the military’s space programs and functions, will have only a limited support role in shaping the transition to the future Space Force.

[Editor’s Note]  The President is taking the authority of space defense out of the hands of the Deep State controlled Air Force and into the hands of the Alliance-friendly Pentagon.

 

WASHINGTON — Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan this week issued a detailed plan for how the Pentagon will move forward to create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces by fiscal year 2020.

The plan, laid out in a Sept. 10 memo titled “Space Reorganization and Management Tasks,” includes actions that the Pentagon will pursue using executive branch authorities — standing up a unified command for space, a Space Development Agency and Space Operations Forces. These proposals were presented to Congress in a report on Aug. 9. The establishment of the Space Force as a military branch must be approved by Congress and written into legislation. Shanahan’s Sept. 10 memo, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews, explains the steps DoD will take to develop a legislative proposal.

The memo makes it clear that the space reorganization is being led from the top down. Shanahan is overseeing the entire effort, but the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the undersecretary of defense for policy also have significant roles. The Air Force, which owns 90 percent of the military’s space programs and functions, only will have a limited support role in shaping the transition to a future Space Force.

The changes directed by Shanahan only apply to DoD and not to the intelligence community, even though organizations like the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency have key responsibilities in national security space. “Only DoD space functions would move into the Space Force,” the memo says. “National security space components outside of the DoD should not be included in the legislative or budget proposal, but will be considered in an interagency process.”
The Director of National Intelligence is cc’ed in the memo.

Shanahan’s orders have short deadlines. Many of the tasks are due in the coming weeks, and the legislative proposal could arrive at the White House as early as Dec. 1, 2018. To avert concerns that a new service will saddle the military with billions of dollars in added overhead costs, the memo says the Space Force should have a “lean” bureaucracy.

A “Space Governance Committee” led by Shanahan will have the final word on any reorganization action and on the legislative proposal before it goes to the White House. Shanahan also will establish and designate the leader of a “working group” to help with the implementation that will include representatives from all military branches and relevant DoD agencies.

Upcoming steps in the reorganization

The first order of business is to stand up U.S. Space Command, a unified combatant command responsible for space. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood are responsible for leading this effort. A U.S. Space Command “should be established by the end of calendar year 2018,” the memo says The Joint Staff will draft an amendment to the Unified Command Plan to establish U.S. Space Command and the subordinate unified command, and a detailed plan will be developed to “transfer requisite authorities and capabilities.” Rood and Dunford will be responsible for “identifying any operational authorities that are needed for U.S. Space Command.”

The creation of a Space Development Agency also could happen relatively soon. Shanahan directs Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to “each develop a concept for establishing the SDA.” The draft concepts are due to the governing committee by Sept 14.

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