The House is now discussing the first en bloc package of 100+ NDAA amendments from both parties.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman, SAC, said he plans to release text of the nine remaining FY22 government funding bills “as soon as they’re ready.”
House Budget Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) told Punchbowl News his staff has come to the conclusion there is not enough time to alter the reconciliation bill OR write a stand-alone bill to lift the debt ceiling. “This could complicate next month as we inch closer to deadline,” Punchbowl writes.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Majority Leader, said a short time ago he will put the House-passed CR bill and debt limit package (HR 5305) on the Senate floor. “To say ‘do it another way,’ that doesn’t cut it. This is what’s on the floor, this is what the House passed,” Schumer said.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), chairman, SAC-D, expects to publicly release the FY22 bill within a week to 10 days.
On the debt limit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not backing down: At a news conference today, he said, “We all agree, America must never default. The debt ceiling will need to be raised… My advice to this Democratic government, the president, the House and Senate: don’t play Russian roulette with our economy. Step up and raise the debt ceiling and cover all that you’ve been engaged in all year long. So no effort on their part to describe our position as irresponsible makes any sense because the facts are indisputable. This is a totally Democratic government. They have an obligation, to raise the debt ceiling, and they will do it.”
On the NDAA last night, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman, HASC, called the NDAA “a product that everybody in this House can be proud of” even if lawmakers aren’t completely satisfied. The Chairman later said, “I can say with confidence that there is no amendment that has been ruled in order that we’re going to debate on that should impact any member’s voting for this bill. This is a very strong bill.” After debating 13 amendments until early this morning, the House will resume consideration of the NDAA at Noon. Late last night on the House floor, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), member, HASC, spoke of “our investment in Space Force” in touting the NDAA.
Delegation of authorities to Space Development Agency (sec. 1501)
The committee recommends a provision that would, to the extent practicable, ensure delegation from the Secretary of the Air Force, through the Service Acquisition Executive for Space (SAE Space), to the Space Development Agency of head of contracting authority and milestone decision authority for middle tier acquisition programs. Elsewhere in this Act, the committee recommends delegation of Senior Procurement Executive authority to the SAE Space. In doing so, the committee stresses the importance of ensuring that as the SAE Space develops broad procurement policies consistent with the SAE Space’s role as the Senior Procurement Executive across Space Force acquisition components and that SAE Space ensures the unique attributes of the Space Development Agency are accounted for in these policies.
In that regard, not later than 60 days after the formal transition of the Space Development Agency to the Space Force, the committee directs the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a report to the congressional defense committees on elements of the actions taken by the SAE that enable the Space Development Agency to perform its unique mission. These authorities will remain in place post transfer to Space Force.
Modification to Space Development Agency (sec. 1502)
The committee recommends a provision that would exempt the Space Development Agency (SDA) from the Joint Capabilities and Integration Development System process. Additionally, the provision would direct the SDA Director to convene a Combatant Commander and Warfighter Council at least twice annually to establish capability plans and recommend priorities for the SDA.
…the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other elements of the Executive Branch, as needed, to report to the congressional defense committees not later than April 31, 2022, on efforts to ensure adequate communications are present between the United States and Russia and China to mitigate future conjunctions on a timely basis. The report shall include actions by both official and non-governmental efforts to date with recommendations that can be taken in the short and long term to avoid conjunctions and in particularly U.S. national security satellites.
SPACE NATIONAL GUARD.
(a) TITLE 10.—Title 10, United States Code, is amended—
(1) in the section headings, by striking ‘‘Air National Guard’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘Air and Space National Guard’’; (2) in the tables of sections, by striking ‘‘Air National Guard’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘Air and Space National Guard’’; and (3) in the text, by striking ‘‘Air National Guard’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘Air and Space National Guard’’.
Senior Procurement Executive authority (sec. 1505)
The committee recommends a provision that would provide the Secretary of the Air Force the authority to delegate to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration duties and authorities of the Senior Procurement Executive that relate to space systems and programs. The committee notes that elsewhere in this Act it recommends a provision that would transfer space acquisition projects from the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration to the Service Acquisition Executive for Space not later than October 1, 2022. The committee notes that the Secretary currently has a similar delegation authority for the Service Acquisition Executive of the Air Force.
Modifications to Space Force Acquisition Council (sec. 1506)
The committee recommends a provision that would amend section 9021 of title 10, United States Code, to change the name of the Space Force Acquisition Council to the Space Acquisition Council.
Modifications relating to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration (sec. 1507)
The committee recommends a provision that would amend section 9021(c) of title 10, United States Code, to modify the role of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration to include broader responsibilities for acquisition integration of space architectures across the Department of Defense (DOD). These responsibilities would transfer not later than October 1, 2022, when the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration becomes the Service Acquisition Executive for the Space Force. The provision would further ensure that the Assistant Secretary is responsible for overseeing all architecture and integration of DOD space programs with respect to their acquisition. The committee interprets the word “oversee” to mean “to see to officially, as one in charge of work done by others; or to have overall responsibility for.” The provision would also designate the Chief of Space Operations as the force design architect for the Department’s space programs. The provision would additionally modify the role of the Space Force Acquisition Council to include certification of architecture determinations made by the Assistant Secretary. Upon certification, which would be forwarded to the congressional defense committees, no further action could be taken for 60 days. The Secretary of Defense may waive this condition if they determine there is an exigent national security condition—a justification of which must be submitted to the congressional defense committees. A principal aim of the creation of the Space Force was to establish an integrated and consolidated approach across the Department for the development of space architectures for the Department’s satellite constellations performing national security missions. This was made clear in the report language accompanying the establishment of the Space Force in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The report language (H. Rept. 116-333) accompanying the subtitle in question stated that “The amendment would rename the Principal Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force for Space as the Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration (ASAF/SP), who would report directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and serve as the senior architect for space systems and programs across the Department of Defense.” In the absence of the Department’s action, this provision would implement that intent.
Modification to transfer of acquisition projects for space systems and programs (sec. 1508)
The committee recommends a provision that would modify the required transfer of space acquisition projects to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration from October 1, 2022, to not later than October 1, 2022.
The Biden Administration “strongly opposes” the creation of a Space National Guard, according to a Statement of Administration Policy released last night.
As mentioned last night and according to Politico, Leonor Tomero, who has served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy since Jan. 20, is leaving as the Defense Department eliminates her job in a reorganization effort. The Pentagon’s new assistant secretary for space, a position Congress recently created, will absorb the responsibility for nuclear and missile defense. John Plumb of The Aerospace Corporation was nominated for that new position on 29 Jul by POTUS, nearly two months ago. There is still no confirmation hearing set for his nomination.
The headline in Air Force Magazine reads, “Space Discussions Still Hampered By Secrecy” and Eric Brown, Lockheed’s director for military space mission strategy, is quoted as saying, “So much of the discussion today is in the classified domain. And I’m not talking about [sensitive compartmented information] SCI, I’m talking about well beyond that … makes it really difficult to have the kinds of engagements [with industry] that are required in order to select future force designs and capabilities.” Full piece: https://www.airforcemag.com/space-discussions-still-hampered-by-secrecy/
SecAF on the timing of a nomination Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration: “We’re actually interviewing people now … And I’m hoping to make a recommendation to the Secretary and the President soon. So it’s moving forward. I’m reasonably happy with the pace in which it’s moving forward … we’re hopeful that Congress and this NDAA will give us the opportunity to give acquisition authorities to the new Assistant Secretary, sooner than a year from now. And hopefully, given the time it takes to get somebody nominated and confirmed about the time that that person arrives in office, they will also have the authorities of me to do their job.” – 20 Sep 2021
Dr. Mark J. Lewis, the Executive Director of National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute, penned an Op-Ed in Breaking Defense writing, “Like their terrestrial counterparts, the use of space nuclear systems has been limited more by policy and perception than by technological readiness. If the US is truly serious about a future that includes humans on Mars and regular operations in cislunar space, nuclear power, and especially its application to nuclear rocket propulsion, must be an option. To that end, current efforts in the development of nuclear thermal systems are indeed a wise and timely investment.” Full Op-Ed: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/09/back-to-the-future-with-nuclear-power-in-space/
Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, U.S. Space Force, said of our adversaries and space at the Air Force Association on Tuesday, “We don’t have decades. We’re in a race with some serious adversaries that mean to deny us those advantages that we get in space. Notably, it’s clear that our strategic international competitors have been investing heavily to both take advantage of space militarily, but more importantly, investing heavily to deny others the ability to use space capabilities. Space has truly become a congested and contested environment.” Those comments were picked up by Flying Magazine.
Gen. John Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, on Space Force becoming the 18th member of the IC: “Now we have an opportunity … to dig deeper on the threats that we’re seeing in the domain, to understand those threats more fully, and really begin to work on this thing called the National Space Intelligence Center.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
Gen. John Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, on the Guardian Ideal “aspirational” document released on Tuesday: “It’s really cutting edge. It’s forward leaning, forward looking. It’s pushing the boundaries. It’s uniting all aspects of personal development, from assessments to recruiting to development, for all Guardians—officers, enlisted, and civilians.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
Gen. John Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, on “the fight” for superiority: “We’re convinced that if deterrence were to fail, we’re going to have to fight and win the battlespace for superiority. That’s not going to be an easy fight. That’s a joint fight. That’s a fight that covers great distances. And that’s a fight that happens at incredible speeds—17,500 miles an hour, just to be in the fight … The satellite launches, opens up; another satellite comes out; it opens up; and a projectile is shot at a satellite—to destroy U.S. satellites and to destroy the advantages that that provides us. It destroys our ability to sense data from around the globe, to be able to bring that data down to Earth, be able to fuse that data with data from other domains.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
Brig. Gen. Shawn Campbell, Deputy Human Capital Officer, Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, on Guardians being “digitally fluent”: “I think we often look at particularly Gen Y and Gen Z, and we say, well, they’re all digital natives. They are in the sense that they grew up with technology that we think about in ubiquity around us, but they don’t understand how it works. That’s different. So we want to make sure you understand not only how to use it, but how to apply it in the most meaningful way.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
Chief Master Sergeant Roger A. Towberman on Guardians being “digitally fluent”: “We need to understand the power that can be unlocked with the power of great programmers, with digitally fluent humans. And it’s those things together, both the imagination and the craftsmanship—that’s architecture. That’s a blend of the two. We need that. Sometimes we’ll get that in one person. Oftentimes, we’ll need that in teams.” – Air Force Magazine 21 Sep 2021
According to The Hill, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday decried “glaring inequalities” in wealth being exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, specifically pointing to recent developments in the space tourism industry.
Tomorrow 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