Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes will help lead the service’s key wideband satellite communications (SATCOM) analysis of alternatives (AoA), according to a key officer.
Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Lt. Gen. John Raymond also said March 24 that Holmes will work closely with principal deputy space staff under Air Force Secretary Deborah James. The wideband AoA will help the service define how the military acquires SATCOM for the next decade more. The Air Force will release the AoA in the next couple months, an effort to solicit information from industry on what capabilities it could provide the service in the future.
As part of the Air Force’s effort to better leverage industry, Raymond said the service set up a commercial integration cell on the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) floor at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Populated with commercial operators, Raymond said the cell allows the Air Force and industry to share information more broadly and allows the service to have better awareness of the space domain.
Raymond sees greater opportunities for the Air Force to leverage industry capabilities moving forward as a new space segment for small satellites emerges. Industry continually pushes the Air Force to increase its utilization. Raymond said the Air Force currently procures about 60-to-80 percent of its communications from industry.
But Raymond also said there are core capabilities that the Air Force will need to keep in house. These, he said, include command and control (C2) and missile warning. Raymond’s remarks came at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington.