Space Domain Vital to National Defense, Official Says
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 25, 2013 It is critical for the Defense Department to develop and implement space programs and policies to maintain U.S. space advantages in a perpetually changing environment, a senior defense official told Congress yesterday.
Douglas L. Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on strategic forces regarding the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal for military space programs.
“[It's a] basic reality that space remains vital to our national security,” he said. “But the evolving strategic environment increasingly challenges U.S. space advantages -- advantages that both our warfighters and our adversaries have come to appreciate.”
As space becomes more congested, competitive and contested, Loverro said, the department must formulate programs and policies that will secure those advantages for years to come. But reality, he added, is juxtaposed with providing these capabilities in an environment with increasingly restrained budgets.
Loverro said the growing challenges of budgeting, in addition to increasing external threats, compels the department to think and act differently.
But Loverro noted that while he thinks these realities present the Defense Department with a clear challenge, he does not view them with “a sense of 'doom and gloom.'”
“New entrepreneurial suppliers, alongside our legacy suppliers, are creating an ever-burgeoning commercial space market that can provide significant advantages to DOD if we formulate the policies and strategies to encourage their growth and use,” he said. “Similarly, there has been a growth worldwide in allied space investment capability.” This growth, he added, provides the Defense Department a significant opportunity in helping to build resilience into its space capabilities.
Loverro said the policies and strategies under discussion begin to address challenges and opportunities.
“But they are just the initial steps in an area that will continue to demand attention and action from all of us,” he said.