The Army veteran will now serve as the top civilian in charge of the Air Force and Space Force and work alongside Air Force veteran and military adviser Gina Ortiz Jones, who was sworn in Monday as undersecretary of the Air Force.
The nation’s newest service is beset with old problems that slow the fielding of new gear and carve big holes in even the Pentagon’s massive budget, the House Armed Services Committee warned in a memo this month.
With the research budget up $725 million this year, the service will invest in protecting space assets, field new capabilities, protect the joint force from adversary use of space capabilities in conflict, and build combat-effective digital service.
The Air Force seeks a slight funding boost in its $156.3 billion budget request for fiscal year 2022 unveiled Friday, which officials said made tough choices to divest from workhorse aircraft to fund the service’s future weapons programs.
President Joe Biden’s first Pentagon budget request places an emphasis on the future battlefield, with the Defense Department primarily focused on China, which seeks military parity with the United States in the coming years.
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Warfighting Operations Research & Development Laboratory, or SWORD, will consolidate in the same site about 65 scientists, engineers and support employees who make up the Space Vehicle Directorate’s Space Control Branch.
Lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are urging President Joe Biden to review a decision to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama, amid a new line of concern that intelligence missions could take a hit.