HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee Recommends Modest Cut to DOD's FY2012 Space Budget

HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee Recommends Modest Cut to DOD's FY2012 Space Budget

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is busy working on the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540), which includes the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) annual request for national security space activities. The six subcommittees are marking up their portions of the bill this week, with full committee markup scheduled for next week.

Most national security space programs are under the purview of the Strategic Forces subcommittee. Yesterday, Strategic Forces subcommittee chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) and ranking member Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) released an overview of the action taken by their subcommittee. In total, the subcommittee recommended cutting $79.5 million from the $10.2 billion request for unclassified space activities (classified space activities are dealt with separately and, obviously, are not publicly discussed). The following list of changes is taken verbatim from the subcommittee’s press release.

National Security Space

  • Overall, a decrease of $79.5 million for National Security Space Programs from the $10.2 billion request. Specifically, the mark includes:
  • Transfer $142.2 million from Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) for evolved AEHF military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) to a separate program element for Next-Generation MILSATCOM Technology Development.
  • Decrease of $124.5 million (from $134.5 million) for launch support services for Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission;
  • Increase of $20 million for Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) data exploitation;
  • Increase of $25 million for Defense Reconnaissance Support Activities.
  • AEHF Procurement-Authorizes the Secretary of the Air Force to enter into a fixed price contract to procure two Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites and incrementally fund those two satellites over five years. Also requires the Secretary to submit a report on contract details, cost savings, and plans for reinvesting cost savings into capability improvements for future AEHF satellites. Does not authorize advanced appropriations, as OMB requested, but meets Air Force intent.
  • Commercial Imaging Satellite Contracts-Repeals Sec. 127 from the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which specified that any Department of Defense contract for commercial imaging satellite capability or capacity after December 31, 2010, shall require that the commercial imaging telescope have an aperture of not less than 1.5 meters.
  • Joint Space Operations Center Management System-Limits Fiscal Year 2012 funds for Release One of the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) Management System (JMS) until the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) and Secretary of the Air Force provide the JMS acquisition strategy.
  • Harmful Interference with Global Positioning System (GPS)-Directs the Secretary of Defense to notify Congress if he determines a space-based or terrestrial-based commercial communications service will cause widespread harmful interference with DOD GPS receivers.
  • Plan for Joint Space Operations Center-Directs the Commander, Air Force Space Command to develop a continuity of operations plan for the Joint Space Operations Center by March 2, 2012.
  • Assessment on satellite operations efficiencies-Directs GAO to provide an assessment of the Department’s efforts to modernize its satellite operations capabilities and identify commercial and other government best practices that could improve its satellite operations by February 6, 2012.

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