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SASC Wants To Make Air Force More Accountable—Report

The US Air Force Secretary’s principal assistant’s job could require Senate confirmation here on and may be named as well. Senates ASC team intends to enhance the accountability of the US Air Force and its space program performance. The entire legislation was released on Wednesday. SASC members voted for the bill to be placed before Senate. Its NDAA will be on Senate floor this month.

This bill targets the US Air Force’s branch that looks after space procurements. The job title will also be renamed appropriately and reassigns the US Air Force’s space portfolio accordingly. Currently, John Stopher has the job under consideration. If this SASC proposal goes through, his job duties would be increased considerably. The President’s nominee would require Senate confirmation as well.

Integration and acquisition duties are being added to the job’s ambit. This is due to various space procurements done in isolation without proper coordination. The official would support the US Space Force Commander and over space system operations. These responsibilities are currently being handled by Asst. Acquisition Secretary of US Air Force Will Roper.

Integration responsibilities would include oversight of AFSRCO, AFSMSC and DoD’s SDA branches and their operations. This person would also chair the SFAC, whose members include Air Force Undersecretary, NRO director, USSC commander, and USSF commander as well. This council would be responsible for enabling coordination across all branches regarding any acquisitions.

If the bill goes through, implementation reports have to be submitted by the end of March next year. The committee had earlier stated its support for Trump’s plans to establish Space Force operating under Air Force control. However, SASC has stated specific requirements and a leaner organization. The legislation includes details about this proposal. The AFSC would be decommissioned and renamed USSF. Its chief would be a 4-star general with a term of 4 years and be responsible for equipping, organization and training space forces. The commander can also head USSC, after which committees will decide whether to separate the two posts.

The commander may also sit in at the Joint CoS meetings with the chairman’s approval. After a year, he would be confirmed as its sitting member. Only civilian and military personnel from US Air Force will form Space Force. Air Force Secretary can transfer assets and infrastructure to Space Force upon demand. No additional personnel employment has been authorized.

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