Seeks answers from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld...
United States Senator - Wayne Allard
E-mail this page
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) said Wednesday he will oppose any Air Force proposal to downgrade the Air Force’s U.S. Space Command and is asking Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to explain why such a plan is going forward when the 2001 Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization, which Rumsfeld chaired, stated that, “….the security and well being of the United States, its allies and friends depend on the nation’s ability to operate in space… The pursuit of U.S. national interests in space requires leadership by the President and senior officials.”
“Space is critical to our armed forces,” Senator Allard said. “Nearly every military operation we carry out makes use of assets in space in one way or another, be it using our satellites to locate the position of the enemy, providing instant communications or gathering dependable intelligence. I intend to oppose any Air Force proposal that will result in a down grade of Air Force Space Command.”
“I am asking the Secretary to provide me with information on whether he is supportive of those in the Air Force who wish to reduce the importance of space within that particular service,” Senator Allard said.
In a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld, delivered today, Senator Allard wrote, “Despite this national security imperative, it appears that the Department of Defense has not been devoting sufficient attention to enhancing and defending our nation’s space dominance. In fact, several recent management and organizational changes suggest that this trend is accelerating, much to the detriment of our nation’s security.”
The letter continues, “A more recent example is the on-going discussions within the Air Force regarding the reorganization of its various components. These discussions have included the possible reduction of the rank of the Commander of Air Force Space Command from a four-star major command to a three-star billet and the transfer of Air Force Space and Missile Command to Air Force Material Command.”
“The Air Force is the Department of Defense’s executive agent for space and remains responsible for executing most of the Department’s resources for space research, development, acquisition and operations. This mission requires leadership with sufficient rank and credibility to ensure that space remains a top priority within the Air Force and that sufficient resources are allocated for this purpose,” the letter says.
These proposals follow the 2002 decision to merge the U.S. Space Command, formerly in Colorado Springs, with the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska.
Senator Allard said he plans to raise the matter with Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England at a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee Thursday.