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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

US Air Force gains narrowband satellite communications responsibility

© U.S. Navy

Air Force and Navy personnel have announced the transfer of responsibility for future narrowband satellite communications, which officials said develops an integrated space enterprise architecture.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer recently outlined the transfer via a memo.

“To prepare for the future alignment of space programs, it is our intent to transfer responsibility for future narrowband capability, beyond the Mobile User Objective System, from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Air Force,” Wilson and Spencer wrote. “Completing this transfer now would be a prudent step toward consolidating space capabilities, consistent with Space Policy Directive-4.”

President Donald Trump’s Space Policy Directive-4 requires the Department of Defense to submit a legislative proposal for the establishment of a Space Force as a new military service within the Department of the Air Force.

Congress and the Government Accountability Office previously expressed concerns regarding the alignment of major space programs. In the near future, all major defense satellite programs will be located within the Air Force budget, and satellite communications will be developed as an integrated architecture.

A working group will be established to report on the joint force requirements, required resources and identification of risk areas, in addition to mitigation for a successful responsibility transfer.