The Space Force is making strides in coordinating its procurement office, according to U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who is the top Republican on House Armed Services Committee. He hopes to see new plans to boost acquisition projects. According to Rogers, General John Raymond, the service’s Chief of Space Operations, called on seasoned space procurement specialist Ellen Pawlikowski to support build up the service’s purchasing organization. By 2022, Congress also ordered the Air Force to create a separate civilian procurement executive for space.
Pawlikowski is a former 4-star general who formerly served as the commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, Space and Missile Systems Center, as well as senior positions at the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Reconnaissance Office. “I was delighted that General Raymond brought in former general Ellen Pawlikowski to support from the beginning,” Rogers added. Last year, the Space Force intended to submit a list of suggestions to Congress for how to speed up purchases, but the idea was shelved when the White House declined to accept it. Congressional committees would like a new series of recommendations, as well as a strategy for creating a Senate-confirmed space procurement executive office within the Air Force.
Pawlikowski, according to Rogers, was an excellent candidate to assist the Space Force in organizing “so that they could be flexible and travel fast.” She is well aware of all the things that cannot be achieved. And I trust she would do it correctly.” As one of the early advocates of creating a separate space service, Rogers has claimed that military space systems must work faster to catch up with China and that the conventional Pentagon contracting method slows things down.
“I’m very confident that they’ll be able to achieve the targets and expectations we’ve set for them in terms of speed,” Rogers stated. China is “developing their strategic capability around the spectrum as well as around the world at an unprecedented rate.” And we have to rely on them; we can’t forget Iran, North Korea, or even Russia, but they’re insignificant in comparison to the threat we’ll face with China,” Rogers stated.
Rogers said he agreed with the concept of utilizing tiny satellites “that have fewer capacity but can be substituted quite easily.” The Pentagon’s Space Exploration Agency has adopted this strategy, which includes launching dozens of low-cost satellites. “Because there are more of them, the enemy has a lot of objectives to want to hit,” Rogers clarified.
“I guess that’s how you’re able to achieve things in terms of resilience, only by making a lot fewer satellites,” he added. “The technical advances that occur within this domain are so sudden that you will have something new to bring up there in 18 months because you don’t want to make such a large investment because you won’t be able to substitute it quickly.”