14 avril 2022 | International, Aérospatial

Military considers three states for permanent Space Force training HQ

Officials will compare bases in Colorado, California and Florida to host the space training mission.


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  • Trump orders creation of independent space force - but Congress will still have its say

    19 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval

    Trump orders creation of independent space force - but Congress will still have its say

    Valerie Insinna and Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to sign an executive order directing the Pentagon to create a new ”Space Force,” a move that could radically transform the U.S. military by pulling space functions variously owned by the Air Force, Navy and other military branches into a single independent service. But while the president's support for a new military branch is notable, experts -- and a powerful member of Congress -- believe Trump still needs the support of Congress to make a space force happen. “I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said during a meeting of the National Space Council. “That's a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force. Separate but equal. It is going to be something. So important,” Trump added. “General Dunford, if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored.” Dunford responded in the affirmative, telling Trump, “We got you.” According to a White House pool report, the president signed the executive order establishing the Space Force at about 12:36 p.m. EST. However, a readout issued from the White House later that day of the executive order contained no language related to the creation of a new military branch, leaving open the question of whether Trump has actually issued formal guidance to the military. The Air Force referred all questions to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which did not respond immediately to requests for comment. However, a defense official, speaking on background, said “The Joint Staff will work closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, other DoD stakeholders and the Congress to implement the President's guidance." Trump's support for creating a separate branch for space is a break from his own adminsitration's stance last year, as well as that of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. “At a time when we are trying to integrate the Department's joint warfighting functions, I do not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations vice an integrated one we're constructing under our current approach,” Mattis wrote in a 2017 letter to members of Congress. But in recent months, Trump has signaled he was intrigued by the idea of a stand alone space force, saying in a May 1 speech that “We're actually thinking of a sixth” military branch for space. At the time, that statement confounded Air Force leaders who had publicly opposed the creation of a separate space service, leading them to adopt a softer tone when talking about the potential for Space Force to avoid being seen as out of step with Trump. This time, however, Trump's announcement tracks with the Pentagon's schedule for an interim report on whether to establish an independent space corps. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said in April that it was on track to be wrapped up on June 1. The final report, which would be sent to Congress, is due in August. Trump's announcement was characteristically vague, but experts say that any new branch would have to come through an act of Congress. “The Congress alone has the power to establish a new branch of the military and to establish the positions of senior executive officials to lead such a department,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at Georgetown University's law school who has studied constitutional issues relating to the military. “While the Pentagon can informally create study or working groups, it has no such authority.” The president can have the military lay the groundwork for a future new branch, Turley said, which is close to what Trump seemed to be getting at. By: Kelsey Atherton “What the President can do is to order the study and proposal for a new branch, which would ultimately go to Congress of any authorization and appropriations,” he said. Todd Harrison, an expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed, tweeting Monday that “The president can't just create a new military service on his own. It requires congressional authorization..” “So the near-term practical effect of all this is that the president can direct DoD to come up with a plan and start preparing to create a Space Force, but he still needs congress to authorize it,” Harrison continued. And while sources on Capitol Hill said they believe Trump does have the authority to establish the new military branch, and that their attention will now turn to funding and missions for the new Space Force, at least one Republican member of Congress made his stance clear. “Establishing a service branch requires congressional action,” House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee chair Mike Turner, R-Ohio. “We still don't know what a Space Force would do, who is going to be in it, or how much is it going to cost. “The congressionally mandated report evaluating a Space Force to answer those questions is due in August,” Turner added. “After we get the report that we required as a legislative body and the President signed off on, then this issue can be appropriately evaluated for what's best for national security.” Congress reacts Trump's announcement also left it unclear whether this new space force will rest under the Department of the Air Force — much like the Marine Corps is a component of the Department of the Navy — or whether a new “Department of the Space Force” will also be created. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the head of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, tweeted out his support for Trump's order. Rogers had previously proposed a separate space service as part of Congress' annual defense policy bill. However, lawmakers and experts also immediately registered their opposition to the announcement. Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-Fla.), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees nonmilitary space programs, tweeted that now was not the right time to establish a separate space force. Harrison noted that the infrastructure may already exist to smooth the creation of a space force. “Creating a Space Force would not necessarily mean a huge increase in funding. We already have space forces within the military, this would just be reorganizing them under a single chain of command,” he tweeted. “Yes, there would be some extra overhead costs, but it doesn't have to be huge.” But David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and currently dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, questioned whether the administration had hammered down the details needed to successfully consolidate the military's space functions into a single service. “This is another case of ready, fire, aim,” he said. David Larter, Joe Gould, Tara Copp and Leo Shane III contributed to this report. This story is developing.

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 23, 2020

    24 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 23, 2020

    ARMY Brayman Construction Corp., Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $319,592,539 firm-fixed-price contract for labor, rehabilitation of recreational areas, equipment, supervision and modifications to the stilling basin of the Bluestone Dam in Hinton, West Virginia. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Hinton, West Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2029. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance, civil works funds in the amount of $319,592,539 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington, West Virginia, is the contracting activity (W91237-20-C-0004). Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $12,847,708 cost-no-fee and firm-fixed-price contract for information technology support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $12,847,708 were obligated at the time of the award. 411th Contracting Support Brigade, Seoul, South Korea, is the contracting activity (W91QVN-20-F-0157). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Simulab Corp., Seattle, Washington, has been awarded a maximum $36,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hospital equipment and accessories for the Defense Logistics Agency electronic catalog. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. This was a competitive acquisition with 102 responses received. Location of performance is Washington, with a Jan. 22, 2025, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2025 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2DH-20-D-0029). NAVY PAE Applied Technologies LLC, Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $32,967,099 modification (P00342) to a previously awarded contract N66604-05-C-1277 to extend the period of performance for six months and increase target cost for Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC). AUTEC is the Navy's large-area, deep-water, undersea test and evaluation range. Underwater research, testing and evaluation of anti-submarine weapons, sonar tracking and communications are the predominant activities conducted at AUTEC. The contractor performs AUTEC range operations support services and maintenance of facilities and range systems. In addition, the contractor is responsible for operating a self-sufficient one square mile Navy outpost. This modification increases the value of the basic contract by $32,967,099. The new total value is $885,984,261. Work will be performed in Andros Island, Commonwealth of the Bahamas (80%); and West Palm Beach, Florida (20%), and is expected to be completed in September 2020. No funding will be obligated at time of this modification award. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport Division, Newport, Rhode Island, is the contracting activity. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2064381/source/GovDelivery/

  • With plans for drone sidekicks, Europe’s futuristic jet program slowly comes into focus

    15 novembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    With plans for drone sidekicks, Europe’s futuristic jet program slowly comes into focus

    By: Sebastian Sprenger BERLIN — Germany may be committed to a project with France aimed at building a new aircraft for Europe by 2040, but don't expect anything drastic or sudden to happen out of Berlin. That was the principal message delivered here to defense industry leaders by German Air Force Brig. Gen. Gerald Funke, who oversees Germany's planning for the Future Combat Air System, or FCAS. “Don't trust anyone who says they can make predictions about the characteristics of an air system in 2040,” Funke said at the International Fighter industry conference on Wednesday. That attitude means Germany is expected to wait as long as possible before closing the design phase of the envisioned weapon and moving toward production. “We need [a] sensible starting point that's worth spending money on,” Funke told Defense News on the sidelines of the conference. “The time pressure is not as acute as industry presents it.” Funke expects money to start flowing toward the project in 2019, when initial concept studies begin to refine plans for the weapon. He said it remains to be seen whether the initial investment will exceed €25 million (U.S. $28 million), the cutoff for parliamentary approval in Germany. Exactly what the new combat jet will look like is still up in the air. But a set of key “design drivers,” as Funke called them, has emerged and are meant to shape the types of questions analysts will pose as they forge a collection of actual capabilities. Autonomy will be a key feature for the jet and its accompanying drones, though never to a degree that humans are no longer involved in striking targets. Officials want it to be highly interoperable with allied aircraft and weapons, even older ones, and able to easily pass data between them. Costs, both for buying the system and operating it, also will be key considerations, especially in Germany, Funke said. The catchphrases “modularity” and “software” also are on the forefront of requirements developers. That means the Air Force eventually wants to have a base aircraft configuration that can be programmed on the fly for specific missions, like strike, reconnaissance or inflicting some sort of cyber damage to future foes. For Germany, a high degree of “tailorability” is a must-have feature, Funke said. Airbus, meanwhile, has some ideas about the physical appearance of the system and its associated components. According to the company, a typical FCAS fleet includes so-called command aircraft of varying configurations, surrounded by autonomous “remote carrier” drones that work in swarms to do anything from attack to surveillance. Additional, smaller unmanned flying sensors provide yet another layer of eyes and ears for the group, with support aircraft for aerial refueling or transport and even space assets counted as part of the FCAS family. The most important component is something called the “combat cloud ecosystem,” a kind of brain connecting all FCAS nodes through secure data arteries. Airbus project lead Bruno Fichefeux argued time is of the essence in developing the program, even though the envisioned fielding time is still decades away. “The technology needs time to mature,” he said. “If we mean the program seriously,” France and Germany should soon begin spending money on it. The Spanish military, meanwhile, is keeping an eye on the FCAS program and will decide at a later point whether to join. While Germany appears eager to pave a path for Madrid's participation, Spain is still keeping its options open, a Spanish defense official said. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/11/14/with-plans-for-drone-sidekicks-europes-futuristic-jet-program-slowly-comes-into-focus

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