The House Rules Committee is coming back this morning to finish setting up floor debate and amendments for the NDAA. The House will begin debate on the NDAA after last votes this evening. There may be a lot of amendments but no roll call votes until tomorrow. The House convenes at 1100 on all of this. The House may take postponed votes on 10 bills under suspension of the rules. The chamber could also consider another five bills under suspension of the rules.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), ranking member, SAC, to vote against a CR if it’s paired with a debt ceiling suspension. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) made similar comments last evening. At least one Republican, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), said on Monday that he was inclined to support the measure because of the disaster aid. “I will likely vote yes, but it’s not going to pass because there won’t be 10 Republican votes,” he said. According to Politico, “A number of Senate Republicans pledged to oppose a procedural vote on the legislative bundle that would package a stopgap spending bill, disaster aid and a debt limit suspension, in addition to final passage.” The government runs out of money in nine days.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), 88, says he’ll decide by 1 Nov whether to run for an eighth term in the Senate.
SA – A source informs that next Wednesday or Thursday the Senate language of the NDAA will be publicly released.
The text of legislation to extend federal agency budget authority until 3 Dec in the absence of enacted FY22 appropriations bills is attached. It would also suspend the statutory debt ceiling through 16 Dec 2022. Republicans have said they won’t support that provision, and it may need to be stripped out in the evenly divided Senate given that chamber’s 60-vote threshold to end debate.
Sandra Erwin of SpaceNews on SecAF’s speech today: “China’s advances in military and space technologies and the implications for U.S. national security was the dominant theme in Kendall’s address to a large audience of active-duty service members, government civilians and defense contractors.” – https://spacenews.com/kendall-if-china-cant-beat-the-u-s-in-the-air-it-will-try-in-space/
SpaceNews: “There is “strong evidence” that China is pursuing silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite-guided munitions to strike targets on Earth and in space, he said. Some of that intelligence was revealed through open sources but Kendall also has received classified briefings. During a briefing with reporters on Monday, Kendall described these revelations as “the most disturbing developments in nuclear proliferation I’ve seen in my lifetime.” With regard to space weapons, he suggested China could pursue a global strike capability using space to deliver weapons, a concept modeled after the Soviet-era “fractional orbital bombardment system” conceived for the Cold War. The Soviets envisioned launching nuclear warheads into low Earth orbit and then directing them back down to targets on the ground. Kendall said he had no specific knowledge that the Chinese are pursuing this but said “it could be possible” and suggested this idea would be attractive to the Chinese because the fractional orbital system is hard to detect by early-warning satellites.” – 20 Sep 2021
SecAF on China developing weapons in space: “They have gone from a few high-value assets near China’s shores to the second and third island chains, and most recently to intercontinental ranges and even to the potential for global strikes from space.” – Defense One 20 Sep 2021
SecAF on China and space: “There is a potential for weapons to be launched into space, then go through this old concept from the Cold War called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System which is a system that basically goes into orbit and then de-orbits to a target.” – Air Force Magazine 20 Sep 2021
SecAF on an increase in Space Force funding: “At some point, we have to get the order of battle that we need in space, and I think that’s going to require some increased funding in that area.” – Air Force Magazine 20 Sep 2021
Gen. John Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, on China developing weapons in space: “If you look at the capabilities that they’re developing, it is clear that they are developing capabilities to deny us our access to space. We can’t let that happen. If we let that happen we lose.” – Defense One 20 Sep 2021
Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, on China and space: “The pace at which China has developed the threat capabilities we’ve seen has just truly been breathtaking … they have developed an electronic warfare capability to jam our assets; we’ve seen lasers; we’ve seen on-orbit threats and grappling arms. They’re continuing to develop those threats. So, everything we do in Space Operations Command must be intelligence-led.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, on defending space: “Space brings us untold advantages, such as being able to overfly other countries legally. You can’t fly in an airspace above other countries because that’s sovereign territory, but that also means that you are regularly and predictably over other people’s countries in what we call their weapon engagement zone. So we have to build an architecture that is resilient to potential attacks. And we have a certain space architecture that we’ve developed over the last several years—we have to be able to defend that architecture, even as we pivot to new architectures.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
According to SpaceNews, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond said a new Space Force office called Space Warfighting Analysis Center (SWAC) will brief industry representatives Oct. 27 on the results of its first “force design” study focused on space-based missile warning and missile tracking. “The force design is the blueprint that could drive future Space Force investments. It lays out, for example, how the Space Force will deploy satellites and ground systems to deliver space-based services and ensure these capabilities can be provided even when under attack.”
The intent of the Guardian Ideal document (now releasable and attached) is to describe the Space Force aspirational vision for recruiting, developing, and employing our force and the conceptual means of achieving it. The service is taking a fresh approach on talent management to meet and exceed the demands of the most physically challenging and technologically demanding of all the operating domains.
On the slide below, As Sandra Erwin of SpaceNews points out, “The transfers were approved earlier this year when the Pentagon submitted its budget request for fiscal year 2022. During a keynote speech at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference, Raymond [Gen. John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations] provided additional details on the specific units being moved over. A total of 11 Army and four Navy organizations will transfer. These units employ 319 military and 259 civilian personnel. Army and Navy service members are not obligated to join the Space Force but can voluntarily transfer. Raymond said more applicants have applied for transfers than there are slots available.”
On the Army and Navy satellite communication operation transfers to the Space Force, Gen. John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, said earlier today, “These transfers will increase efficiency and improve the readiness.” These personnel will likely be delayed as a result of the CR given that Congress will not have passed the annual Approps bills by 1 Oct. The CR currently being talked about by the House Rules Committee will go through 3 Dec. “We’re proud of this partnership with our services, and are eager to get them into the force,” Raymond said.
Gen. John Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, on getting everyone on the same page WRT Space Force: “For the first time ever, everybody’s rowing in the same direction. It’s going to pay a huge advantage to our nation to reduce duplication, reduce costs and increase our ability to go fast … What we did when we set up a space force, we set up a new capability development process. It begins with force design. We have an organization called the Space Warfighting Analysis Center that we established, and this is a small organization with PhD-level [talent] coupled with operators … It’s an imperative — an absolute imperative — that we move away from a legacy force structure and we get to a force structure that’s more defensible. And to do that, we all have to be rolling in the same direction.” – Defense News 21 Sep 2021
Defense News: “To help facilitate conversations among those various organizations, the Space Force created the Space Force Acquisition Council, where representatives from the National Reconnaissance Office, Missile Defense Agency, Space Systems Command and more can meet regularly and share what they’re working on.” – 21 Sep 2021
Karl Grossman, a Professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, said today, “The world is at a crossroads as to war in space. President Biden has not pulled back on the Trump-initiated U.S. Space Force which Trump demanded to ‘have American dominance in space.’ Russia and China (and U.S. neighbor Canada) have long pressed for the PAROS (Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space) treaty. It would ban all weapons in space. The PAROS treaty would expand the landmark Outer Space Treaty of 1967 put together by the U.S., Great Britain and Soviet Union and which has wide support of nations around the world. The Outer Space Treaty sets aside space ‘for peaceful purposes’ and bans weapons of mass destruction in space. Russia and China have recently reiterated their call for no weapons in space. But the U.S. has blocked the PAROS treaty at the UN. “Meanwhile, last year the U.S. Space Force unveiled its admittedly ‘first offensive weapon’ — and more are in development. Russia and China — despite their decades of pressing for the PAROS treaty — can be expected to respond in kind. Other nations will move up into space with weaponry. The heavens will be turned into a war zone, and there will be no going back. “Is war in space indeed ‘inevitable?’ It is not inevitable if the scheme of a U.S. Space Force and its aim of seeking American ‘dominance’ of space is pulled back. Through diplomacy — and a strong system of verification — space should be kept for peace.” For more information, please visit https://accuracy.org/release/generals-space-war-all-but-inevitable-as-us-blocks-un-effort-to-stop-weaponization-of-space/.
Tomorrow at 1730, NatSecSpace happy hour (Hosted by Aaron Bateman, Steve Jordan Tomaszewski, and Sean Wilson) will have another happy hour. The location is; Clarendon Pop-Up Bar, 3185 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201. According to an email sent, “Look for NatSecSpace, with a national security space themed cocktail – the “SAMOSa”.
On 23 Sep at 1000, The Government Executive Media Group will hold a virtual forum, beginning on the “State of the Space» Force.” Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations, will participate in a keynote interview. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.brookings.edu/events/how-should-the-united-states-deter-china.