oversight

Defense Space Activities: Organizational Changes Initiated, but Further Management Actions Needed

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-04-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to Congressional Committees




April 2003
             DEFENSE SPACE
             ACTIVITIES
             Organizational
             Changes Initiated, but
             Further Management
             Actions Needed




GAO-03-379
                                               April 2003


                                               DEFENSE SPACE ACTIVITIES

                                               Organizational Changes Initiated, but
Highlights of GAO-03-379, a report to
Congressional Committees                       Further Management Actions Needed



In January 2001, the                           Since June 2002 when we reported that DOD intended to implement 10 of
congressionally chartered                      the Space Commission’s 13 recommendations to improve the management
Commission to Assess United                    and organization of space activities and had completed implementation of 6,
States National Security Space                 DOD has completed action on 3 more recommendations. The only action
Management and Organization—                   intended but not completed at the conclusion of our work is designation of
known as the Space Commission—
reported that the Department of
                                               the Air Force as the executive agent for DOD space programs. Most of the
Defense (DOD) lacked the senior-               changes represent organizational actions to improve DOD’s ability to
level focus and accountability to              manage space. For example, DOD has:
provide guidance and oversight for             •   created a focal point for integrating DOD space activities by appointing
national security space operations.                the Under Secretary of the Air Force also as Director, National
Congress mandated that GAO                         Reconnaissance Office;
provide an assessment of DOD’s                 •   realigned Air Force space activities under one command; and
actions to implement the Space                 •   created a separate position of Commander, Air Force Space Command,
Commission’s recommendations.                      to provide increased attention to the organization, training, and
Thus, GAO (1) updated its June                     equipping for space operations.
2002 assessment of DOD’s actions
to address the Space Commission’s
recommendations, (2) ascertained
                                               It is too early to assess the effects of these organizational changes because
progress in addressing other long-             new institutional roles, processes, and procedures are still evolving.
term management concerns, and
(3) assessed the extent to which               DOD still faces challenges in addressing long-term management problems,
DOD has developed a results-                   such as increasing its investment in innovative space technologies,
oriented management framework                  improving the timeliness and quality of acquisitions, and developing a cadre
for space activities.                          of space professionals. DOD has initiated some actions to address these
                                               concerns, such as increasing resources for research on space technology and
                                               developing a new acquisition process, and the services have begun some
GAO recommends that DOD                        plans for developing space professionals. However, most planned actions
develop a national security space              are not fully developed or implemented. Further, DOD has not developed an
strategic plan tied to overall                 overarching human capital strategy for space that would guide service plans
department goals and performance               to ensure all requirements for space professionals are met.
measures; establish a strategic
approach for space human capital;              DOD does not have a comprehensive, results-oriented management
and designate a department-level               framework for space activities. The Air Force is developing some policies
entity to provide space program                and guidance that could be part of a management framework for space
oversight and assess progress.                 activities. However, we did not have access to the draft documents to
                                               determine whether they will contain results-oriented elements—such as a
DOD agreed with these
recommendations.
                                               strategy, performance goals and measures, and timelines—that will enable
                                               DOD to better focus its efforts and assess its progress in attaining its space
                                               goals. Further, no single department-level entity has been charged with
                                               providing oversight of the Air Force’s management of its executive agent for
                                               space responsibilities to assess its progress in achieving space goals while
                                               ensuring that all services’ requirements for space capabilities are fairly
                                               considered.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-379.

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Raymond J.
Decker at (202) 512-6020 or
deckerrj@gao.gov.
Contents


Letter                                                                                      1
               Results in Brief                                                             2
               Background                                                                   4
               DOD Has Made Further Organizational and Management Changes
                 to Implement Space Commission Recommendations                             6
               Progress in Addressing Long-Term Management Challenges Varies              13
               Space Program Lacks Results-Oriented Management Framework                  17
               Conclusions                                                                21
               Recommendations for Executive Actions                                      22
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         23

Appendix I     Status of Actions Taken to Implement Short- and
               Mid-Term Space Commission Recommendations                                  25



Appendix II    Time Line of Major Events in DOD’s Implementation
               of Space Commission Recommendations                                        28



Appendix III   Comments from the Department of Defense                                    29



Appendix IV    Scope and Methodology                                                      32



Appendix V     GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                     34



Tables
               Table 1: Elements of a Results-Oriented Management Framework               18
               Table 2: Status of DOD’s Implementation of Space Commission
                        Recommendations as of January 2003                                26


Figure
               Figure 1: DOD’s and the Air Force’s Organization for National
                        Security Space, as of February 2003                               10



               Page i                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Abbreviations

DOD               Department of Defense
NRO               National Reconnaissance Office
DARPA             Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency




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Page ii                                              GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   April 18, 2003

                                   The Honorable John Warner
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable Carl Levin
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Committee on Armed Services
                                   United States Senate

                                   The Honorable Duncan Hunter
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable Ike Skelton
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Committee on Armed Services
                                   House of Representatives

                                   The United States depends on space to underpin many national security
                                   activities as well as for civil and commercial purposes. The Department of
                                   Defense (DOD) employs space assets to support a wide range of military
                                   missions to include intelligence collection; battlefield surveillance and
                                   management; global command, control, and communications; and
                                   navigation assistance. Commercial use of space extends to activities in
                                   transportation, health, the environment, communications, commerce,
                                   agriculture, and energy. However, the United States’ increasing national
                                   dependence on space-borne systems creates new vulnerabilities that
                                   potential adversaries may seek to exploit.

                                   Since the early 1990s, Congress has expressed concerns about DOD’s
                                   organization and management of space activities, in particular its ability to
                                   fully exploit space in support of warfighting. In October 1999, Congress
                                   chartered the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space
                                   Management and Organization—known as the Space Commission—to
                                   review the organization and management of national security space
                                   activities and provide recommendations for improvement. In January 2001,
                                   the Space Commission reported that DOD was not properly organized to
                                   provide direction and oversight for national security space operations. The
                                   commission’s recommendations suggested actions that could be
                                   implemented in the short- or mid-term to better position national security
                                   space organizations and provide needed flexibility to realize longer-term
                                   space goals. Thirteen of the Space Commission’s recommendations
                                   addressed actions DOD could implement to improve coordination,


                                   Page 1                                      GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                   execution, and oversight of DOD’s space activities. The Space Commission
                   also identified some long-standing management challenges, including
                   insufficient investment in innovative space technologies, a cumbersome
                   acquisition process, and an inadequate program to develop and maintain a
                   cadre of space professionals for leadership roles in all aspects of
                   space-related activities.

                   In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, Congress
                   mandated that we provide an assessment in 2002 and 2003 of the actions
                   taken by the Secretary of Defense in implementing the Space
                   Commission’s recommendations.1 Our June 2002 report stated that DOD
                   had completed or was in the process of implementing most of the Space
                   Commission recommendations.2 Our objectives for this subsequent report
                   were to (1) update the status of the actions DOD has taken to implement
                   the Space Commission’s recommendations, (2) ascertain the status of
                   DOD’s efforts to address long-term management challenges, and (3) assess
                   the extent to which DOD has developed a results-oriented management
                   framework for space activities that includes critical elements to foster
                   program success.


                   In response to the Space Commission’s recommendations, DOD has taken
Results in Brief   further steps to implement some organizational changes that have the
                   potential to improve its ability to manage space activities, but it is too
                   early to assess the effects of these and earlier changes DOD announced
                   because new institutional roles, processes, and procedures are still
                   evolving. Since June 2002, when we reported that DOD intended to
                   implement 10 of the commission’s 13 recommendations and had
                   completed implementation of 6, DOD has completed action on 3 more
                   recommendations. The only action intended but not completed at the
                   conclusion of our work is designation of the Air Force as executive agent3
                   for DOD space programs. Organizational changes completed include


                   1
                       P.L. 107-107, section 914.
                   2
                   U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Space Activities: Status of Reorganization,
                   GAO-02-772R (Washington, D.C.: June 26, 2002).
                   3
                    The executive agent is a term used to indicate a delegation of authority by the Secretary
                   of Defense to a subordinate to act on the Secretary’s behalf. The exact nature and scope of
                   the authority delegated may vary. It may be limited to providing administration and support
                   or coordinating certain functions or extend to direction and control over specified
                   resources for specified purposes. The DOD directive that will define the scope of authority
                   in this instance has not yet been formally approved.




                   Page 2                                              GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
creating a focal point for space by naming the Under Secretary of the Air
Force as Director, National Reconnaissance Office,4 and charging this
individual with responsibility for integrating space activities across DOD
as well as milestone decision authority5 for major space acquisitions;
creating a separate position of Commander, Air Force Space Command, to
provide increased attention to the organization, training, and equipping for
space operations; and creating a mechanism to identify space spending
across the department.

DOD has taken some actions to address long-term management
challenges, but the extent of progress in identifying and implementing
needed actions has varied. For example, DOD plans to increase its budget
for space science and technology by 25 percent between fiscal years 2003
and 2007 and almost double it by 2009. However, the availability of such
funding in view of other departmental priorities is uncertain. Further, the
Air Force has a draft acquisition approach intended to streamline the
acquisition process and reduce the cost of building and launching space
systems, but the process has not been fully validated and finalized. In
addition, DOD and the services have not developed and implemented
human capital plans needed to build a cadre of space professionals to lead
space activities in the future. Specifically, DOD lacks an overall human
capital strategic approach for space that could give guidance and facilitate
development of individual service plans to better manage space forces.
Further, it has not established time frames for completing such plans.

DOD has not yet developed a comprehensive results-oriented management
framework for space activities that includes critical elements to foster
future program success. As the executive agent for DOD space, the Under
Secretary of the Air Force has begun developing, in collaboration with the
other services and defense agencies involved in space activities, a national
security space strategy and a national security space plan. According to
officials in the office of the executive agent for DOD space who are
developing the strategy and plan, the documents will set the goals of
national security space activities, identify approaches to achieve those




4
 The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) designs, builds and operates the nation’s
reconnaissance satellites. NRO provides products to DOD and the Central Intelligence
Agency, among others.
5
 The milestone decision authority is the individual designated to approve entry of an
acquisition program into the next phase of the acquisition process.




Page 3                                               GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
             goals, and provide input to the Defense Planning Guidance 6 which serves
             as a basis for assessing whether the services’ planned budgets fulfill
             national security space priorities. The officials hope to finalize these
             documents in early 2003. However, because these documents have not
             been finalized and we were not provided access to draft plans, it is not
             clear whether they address all the critical elements of a results-oriented
             management framework—such as performance goals and measures.
             Without a results-oriented management framework, DOD will not be able
             to fully gauge its progress toward more effective national security space
             activities. In conjunction with its fiscal year 2000 budget, DOD developed a
             department-level performance report that specifies measures for some
             performance goals, but the report did not include goals and measures for
             space activities. In addition, no single entity in the Office of the Secretary
             of Defense has oversight responsibility to assess the Air Force’s progress
             in effectively managing departmentwide space activities and achieving
             associated performance goals and measures. Until such plans and
             oversight are in place, DOD cannot be assured that its investments will
             optimally support its current and future requirements for space
             operations.

             Accordingly, we are making recommendations to improve the
             management oversight and accountability for space operations. DOD
             agreed or partially agreed with our recommendations.


             America’s interests in space, according to the National Space Policy, are to
Background   support a strong, stable, and balanced national space program that serves
             our goals in national security, foreign policy, economic growth,
             environmental stewardship, and scientific excellence. DOD policy states
             that space—like land, sea, and air—is a medium within which military
             activities shall be conducted to achieve national security objectives. 7

             The national security space sector is primarily comprised of military and
             intelligence activities. The Air Force is DOD’s primary procurer and
             operator of space systems and spends the largest share of defense space



             6
               The Defense Planning Guidance, issued by the Secretary of Defense, provides goals,
             priorities, and objectives, including fiscal constraints, for the development of military
             departments’ and defense agencies’ budgets.
             7
              Fact Sheet: National Space Policy-the White House, National Science & Technology
             Council (Sept. 19, 1996); and DOD Directive 3100.10 (July 9, 1999).




             Page 4                                                 GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
funds, annually averaging about 85 percent. The Army controls a defense
satellite communications system and operates ground mobile terminals.
The Navy operates several space systems 8 that contribute to surveillance
and warning and is responsible for acquiring the Mobile User Operations
System, the next generation Ultra High Frequency satellite communication
system. The U.S. Strategic Command9 is responsible for establishing
overall operational requirements while the services are responsible for
satisfying these requirements to the maximum extent practicable through
their individual planning, programming, and budgeting systems. The Air
Force Space Command is the major component providing space forces for
the U.S. Strategic Command. The NRO designs, procures, and operates
space systems dedicated to intelligence activities. The National Security
Space Architect develops and coordinates space architectures for future
military and intelligence activities. The Office of the Secretary of Defense,
the Marine Corps, and other DOD agencies also participate in national
security space activities. The Office of National Security Space Integration,
which reports to the Under Secretary of the Air Force and Director, NRO,
facilitates integration of military and intelligence activities and coordinates
implementation of best practices among agencies.

The management and organization of national security space programs
and activities has received continual congressional attention since the
early 1990s. In 1995, DOD responded to congressional concerns about the
lack of a coherent national security space management structure by
consolidating certain space management functions within a new Office of
the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space. However, in 1998, under
a defense reform initiative, DOD abolished this office and dispersed the
management functions among other DOD offices, primarily the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and
Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology, and Logistics.




8
 Navy operated space systems include the Ultra High Frequency Follow-on, WindSat
Ocean Surface Wind Vector Measurements from Space, and Navy Space Surveillance
System. The Naval Space Surveillance System will be transferred to the Air Force.
9
 The U.S. Space Command merged with the U.S. Strategic Command on October 1, 2002.
The combined command is responsible for space operations, information operations,
computer network operations, and strategic defense and attack.




Page 5                                            GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                     The Space Commission10 noted that the United States has an urgent
                     interest in protecting the access to space and developing the technologies
                     and capabilities to support long-term military objectives. It stressed the
                     need to elevate space on the national security agenda and examine the
                     long-term goals of national security space activities. The Space
                     Commission provided a total of 16 recommendations, including a call for
                     presidential leadership to set space as a national security priority and
                     provide direction to senior officials. However, 13 of the Space
                     Commission’s recommendations were directed at DOD and focused on
                     near- and mid-term management and organizational changes that would
                     merge disparate activities, improve communication channels, establish
                     clear priorities, and achieve greater accountability.


                     The Secretary of Defense directed a number of organizational changes to
DOD Has Made         improve leadership, responsibility, and accountability for space activities
Further              within DOD in response to the Space Commission’s report. After some
                     delays, most are complete or nearing completion, although it is too early
Organizational and   to assess the effects of these changes. The Space Commission found that
Management Changes   DOD’s organization for space was complicated with various
                     responsibilities delegated to different offices within the department. For
to Implement Space   example, the Space Commission determined that it was not possible for
Commission           senior officials outside DOD to identify a single, high-level individual who
Recommendations      had the authority to represent DOD on space-related matters. Further, the
                     commission noted that no single service had been assigned statutory
                     responsibility to “organize, train, and equip” for space operations. The
                     commission provided 13 recommendations to DOD intended to improve
                     the focus and accountability within the national security space
                     organization and management.

                     As we reported in our June 2002 assessment, the Secretary of Defense
                     decided to implement 10 of the Space Commission’s 13 recommendations
                     while opting to take alternative actions for the remaining 3.11 In a May 8,
                     2001, letter to the defense and intelligence oversight committees, the
                     Secretary stated that the department would not implement the Space
                     Commission’s recommendation to create an Under Secretary of Defense



                     10
                       The present Secretary of Defense led the Space Commission prior to his nomination to
                     his current position.
                     11
                          GAO-02-772R.




                     Page 6                                             GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
    for Space, Intelligence, and Information.12 DOD also did not seek
    legislation to give the Air Force statutory responsibility to organize, train,
    and equip space forces, as recommended. Rather, the Secretary said the
    department would address these organizational and leadership issues with
    alternative actions. For example, DOD elected not to create a new office to
    integrate military and intelligence research efforts, deciding instead to
    increase coordination among existing offices. At the time of our last
    report, DOD had completed action to implement six of the
    recommendations, and four were in the process of being implemented.
    DOD has now completed action on three more, with actions on the
    remaining recommendation still in progress. See appendix I for
    information on the status of each of the Space Commission’s 13
    DOD-specific recommendations.

    To address some of the Space Commission’s specific recommendations as
    well as additional opportunities that the department identified for
    improving the organization and management of its space activities, the
    Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum in October 2001 that directed
    actions to:

•   assign the Under Secretary of the Air Force as Director, NRO;
•   designate the Under Secretary of the Air Force as the Air Force
    Acquisition Executive13 for Space;
•   delegate program milestone decision authority for DOD space major
    defense acquisition programs and designated space programs to the Under
    Secretary through the Secretary of the Air Force;
•   realign the Office of the National Security Space Architect to report to the
    Director, NRO (who is also the Under Secretary of the Air Force) and
    make the Architect responsible for ensuring that military and intelligence
    funding for space is consistent with policy, planning guidance, and
    architectural decisions;
•   designate the Secretary of the Air Force as DOD executive agent for space
    with redelegation to the Under Secretary of the Air Force;
•   assign the Air Force the responsibility for organizing, training, equipping,
    and providing forces as necessary for the effective prosecution of
    offensive and defensive military operations in space;


    12
      The National Defense Authorization Act of 2003 (P.L. 107-314, section 901) authorized
    DOD to create an Under Secretary for Intelligence. The responsibilities for this new
    position have not yet been released.
    13
     The acquisition executive is the individual charged with overall acquisition management
    responsibilities within his or her organization.




    Page 7                                              GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
•   realign Air Force headquarters and field commands to more closely
    integrate space acquisitions and operations functions; and
•   assign responsibility for the Air Force Space Command to a four-star
    officer other than the Commander of the U.S. Space Command (now
    merged with U.S. Strategic Command) and North American Aerospace
    Defense Command to provide dedicated leadership to space activities.

    By appointing the Under Secretary of the Air Force as the Director, NRO,
    and the Air Force acquisition executive for space, as well as designating
    the Under Secretary DOD’s executive agent for space, the Secretary of
    Defense provided a focal point for DOD space activities. The Space
    Commission recommended the designation of a single person as Under
    Secretary of the Air Force; Director, NRO; and Air Force acquisition
    executive for space to create a senior-level advocate for space within DOD
    and the Air Force and represent space in the Air Force, NRO, and DOD
    planning, programming, and budgeting process. In addition, the authority
    to acquire space systems for the Air Force and NRO is intended to better
    align military and intelligence space acquisition processes. In explaining
    the rationale for this change, senior DOD officials told us that the barriers
    between military and intelligence space activities are diminishing because
    of the current need to support the warfighter with useful information from
    all sources. In an effort to improve space acquisitions and operations, joint
    Air Force and NRO teams have been working to identify the best practices
    of each organization that might be shared, according to Air Force and NRO
    officials. These teams have recommended what they believe to be 37 best
    practices to the Under Secretary of the Air Force in the areas of
    acquisition, operations, launch, science and technology, security, planning,
    and programming. Joint efforts to identify best practices are continuing in
    the areas of requirements, concepts of operation, personnel management,
    financial management, and test and evaluation.

    The Space Commission recommended formal designation of the Air Force
    as executive agent for space with departmentwide responsibility for
    planning, programming, and acquisition of space systems, and the
    Secretary of Defense stated in his October 2001 memorandum that the Air
    Force would be named DOD executive agent for space within 60 days.
    However, the directive formally delineating the Air Force’s new roles and
    responsibilities and those of the other services in this area has not been
    finalized. Air Force officials said they hoped it would be finalized in early
    2003. Until the directive designating the Air Force as executive agent for
    DOD space is signed, the Air Force cannot formally assume the executive
    agent duties that the Space Commission envisioned. In the meantime, the
    Air Force has begun to perform more planning and programming duties.



    Page 8                                       GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
During the delay in the formal delegation of authority, the Air Force and
other services and defense agencies have begun collaborating on space
issues in accordance with the Secretary’s intent. After the directive is
released, the executive agent for space expects to be tasked to develop an
implementation plan that will articulate processes and procedures to
accomplish DOD’s space mission.

The Air Force has realigned its headquarters to support the Air Force
Under Secretary’s efforts to integrate national security space activities and
perform new duties as the executive agent for DOD space. The Under
Secretary of the Air Force has established an Office of National Security
Space Integration to implement the executive agent duties across DOD,
coordinate the integration of service and intelligence processes and
programs, develop streamlined national security space acquisition
processes, and lead the development of a management framework for
space activities. Although this office is located within the Air Force and
NRO, it will consist of members from all the services and some defense
agencies. Figure 1 shows DOD’s and the Air Force’s new organization for
supporting national security space activities.




Page 9                                      GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Figure 1: DOD’s and the Air Force’s Organization for National Security Space, as of February 2003




                                         Page 10                                         GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Also in response to a Space Commission recommendation, the Air Force
reorganized its field commands to consolidate the full range of space
activities—from concept and development, to employment and
sustainment of space forces—within the Air Force Space Command. To
consolidate the acquisition and operations functions, the Air Force Space
and Missile Systems Center14 was separated from the Air Force Materiel
Command and became part of the Air Force Space Command. According
to the Commander, Air Force Space Command, the consolidation of these
functions in the same command is unique and should improve
communications while exposing personnel to both acquisition and
operations. According to Air Force officials, this new arrangement will
enable space system program managers who have been responsible for
acquiring space systems—such as the Global Positioning System—to help
generate new concepts of operations. Conversely, the arrangement will
also enable space system operators to develop a better understanding of
the acquisitions processes and acquire new skills in this area.

To provide better visibility of DOD’s and the Intelligence Community’s
level and distribution of fiscal and personnel resources, as the Space
Commission recommended, DOD and the Intelligence Community
developed a crosscutting or “virtual” major force program15 by aggregating
budget elements for space activities across DOD and the Intelligence
Community. This virtual space major force program identifies and
aggregates space-related budget elements within DOD’s 11 existing major
force programs. According to DOD officials, having a crosscutting major
force program for space activities is logical because space activities span
multiple program areas, such as strategic forces and research and
development. The space major force program covers spending on
development, operation, and sustainment of space, launch, ground, and
user systems, and associated organizations and infrastructure whose
primary or secondary missions are space-related. DOD included the space
major force program in its Future Years Defense Program16 for fiscal years


14
  The Space and Missile Systems Center designs and acquires all Air Force and most DOD
space systems.
15
  A major force program is a budget mechanism by which DOD aggregates related budget
items to track resources that support a macro-level combat or support mission, such as
strategic forces or general purpose forces.
16
  DOD’s Future Years Defense Program is the official document that summarizes the force
levels and funding associated with specific programs. It presents estimated appropriation
needs for the budget year for which funds are being requested from Congress and at least
4 years following it.




Page 11                                             GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
2003 to 2007 and identified $144 billion in space spending planned for this
period. The Under Secretary of the Air Force said he used the virtual
major force program to facilitate examination of the services’ space
program plans and budgets.

The Secretary of Defense tasked the National Security Space Architect
with reporting on the consistency of space programs with policy, planning,
and architecture decisions. During the spring and summer of 2002, the
Architect led the first annual assessment of the programs included in the
space virtual major force program and some related programs. Teams of
subject matter experts from DOD, Intelligence Community, and civilian
agencies involved in space programs reviewed the services’ and
Intelligence Community’s proposed budgets for future space spending to
identify capabilities gaps and redundancies while evaluating whether
budget requests adhered to departmental policy and guidance. The
Architect provided the classified assessment results to the Under
Secretary, as well as the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central
Intelligence, and other senior DOD and Intelligence Community leaders, to
support decision-making on space programs during the fiscal year 2004
budget review.

It is too early to assess the effects of DOD’s organizational changes for its
space programs because new institutional roles, processes, and
procedures are still evolving, and key documents are not yet finalized.
According to DOD officials, some delays in implementing the
recommendations can be attributed to the time needed to select and
confirm the pivotal senior leadership for national security space, and for
the new leaders to direct changes in processes and procedures. For
example, the Senate confirmed the Under Secretary of the Air Force on
December 7, 2001, and new directorates within his office were established
on April 15, 2002, to begin national security space integration and
acquisition activities. Similarly, DOD created a separate four-star position
of Commander, Air Force Space Command, separating the command of
the Air Force Space Command from the Commander, U.S. Space
Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command. However, the
new Commander, Air Force Space Command, did not assume command
until April 19, 2002. Developing policy and guidance to implement
organizational changes took longer than the 30 to 120 days specified in the
Secretary of Defense’s memorandum of October 18, 2001 (see app. II for a
time line of major events in the reorganization). For example, the directive
that would designate the Air Force as executive agent for DOD space is
still in draft over a year after the memorandum.



Page 12                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                          As DOD’s efforts to build a more coherent organizational structure for
Progress in               managing national security space activities near completion, the
Addressing                department’s progress in addressing long-term management challenges
                          has varied. DOD increased funding for space science and technology
Long-Term                 activities in fiscal year 2004 and plans future increases. Also the
Management                department is drafting a new acquisition process for space systems that is
                          intended to reduce the time to develop and acquire space systems, but the
Challenges Varies         process has not been fully tested and validated. Finally, DOD has not
                          established a human capital strategy to develop and maintain a cadre of
                          space professionals that will guide the space program in the future, and
                          none of the services has developed and implemented its own space cadre
                          plans or established time frames for completing such plans.


Increased Investment in   Between fiscal years 2003 and 2007, DOD plans to increase its budget for
Space Research and        space science and technology by almost 25 percent, from about
Technology Planned        $975 million in 2003 to over $1.2 billion in 2007. In addition, DOD plans by
                          2009 to spend over $1.8 billion for space science and technology, or almost
                          two times the fiscal year 2003 budget. According to the Director of the
                          Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Space
                          Commission’s report’s emphasis on increased investment in space-based
                          technology was the impetus for significant increases in space research and
                          development funding over the next 5 years—from $235 million in fiscal
                          year 2003 to $385 million by fiscal year 2007 as shown in the fiscal year
                          2004 President’s budget request. Under current plans, DARPA will receive
                          most of these funds. The Director said that over the years the agency’s
                          concentration on space-based technologies varied and that just prior to
                          the Space Commission report, ongoing space efforts were at a low point.
                          The Director also said that investments in space are consistent with the
                          agency’s charter to solve national-level technology problems, foster
                          high-risk/high-payoff military technologies to enable operational
                          dominance, and avoid technological surprise. Innovative space technology
                          studies currently underway, including the “Responsive Access, Small
                          Cargo, Affordable Launch” and “Orbital Express” efforts,17 are a direct
                          result of the Space Commission report. The Air Force is the next largest
                          recipient of increased funding for space research and engineering with an
                          expected budget increase of more than $89 million between 2003 and 2007.


                          17
                            “Responsive Access, Small Cargo, Affordable Launch” is an effort to provide quick and
                          economic launch capabilities for micro-size satellites; “Orbital Express” is an effort to
                          demonstrate the feasibility of refueling, upgrading, and extending the life of on-orbit
                          spacecraft.




                          Page 13                                              GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                          The Army and the Navy have smaller shares of space-related research
                          funding and, according to service officials, project small budget increases.
                          DOD recently completed a departmentwide assessment of space science
                          and technology that it intends to use to direct the priorities of future
                          research. However, whether planned funding increases will become
                          available in view of other departmental priorities is uncertain.


Draft Space Acquisition   DOD is taking steps it hopes will streamline the acquisition process and
Process Not Validated     reduce the time it takes to acquire space-based systems required by the
                          national security space community. The Air Force has developed a new
                          space system acquisition decision process designed to shorten time frames
                          for technical assessments and facilitate faster decision-making. This
                          approach will establish key decision points based on program maturity
                          and provide more oversight earlier in the development of complex satellite
                          technology. It will also reduce the number of independent cost estimates
                          performed at each key decision point from two to one18 and employs a full
                          time, dedicated independent assessment team to perform technical
                          reviews in less time at each decision point. Having milestone decision
                          authority, the Under Secretary of the Air Force determines whether major
                          space systems should proceed to the next phase of development. The
                          Under Secretary serves as chair of the Defense Space Acquisitions Board,
                          which oversees the new acquisition process.19 However, the guidance for
                          executing acquisition procedures is still in draft,20 and the draft acquisition
                          process is still being validated. DOD has used the new process for
                          milestone decisions on three space systems—the National Polar-Orbiting
                          Operational Environmental Satellite System, the Mobile User Objective
                          System, and the latest generation of Global Positioning System satellite
                          vehicles—that had been started under the previous acquisition system.
                          Officials said that the process had been successful in that it enabled the
                          Air Force to make better and faster decisions by identifying problems
                          early that needed to be resolved before the system proceeded into the next
                          development phase. The Space Based Radar promises to be the first
                          system to begin the acquisition process under the new system.



                          18
                            The new process will require a cost estimate from the program office and an estimate led
                          by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Cost Accounting Improvement Group.
                          19
                            The Defense Space Acquisitions Board is composed of representatives of the military
                          services and defense agencies invited by the Under Secretary.
                          20
                               National Security Space Acquisition Policy 03-01.




                          Page 14                                                  GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Early identification of potential problems is essential in the acquisition
process, particularly in regard to issues such as design stability, sufficient
funding, requirement stability, realistic schedules, and mature technology.
As we have previously reported, DOD programs, including some space
programs, have experienced problems when these elements have not been
sufficiently addressed.21 For example, the Advanced Extremely High
Frequency satellite program continued to move through the acquisition
process despite frequent changes to its requirements and experienced cost
overruns and schedule delays.22 The Space Based Infrared systems also
experienced increased cost and schedule delays.23 Congress has repeatedly
expressed concerns about the cost overruns and schedule delays of these
defense space programs and expected that any changes underway to
reduce decision cycle time for space programs should not detract from the
ability of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint
Requirements Oversight Council24 to provide meaningful oversight of
space programs. Consequently, in the National Defense Authorization Act
for 2003 (section 911(b)), Congress directed the Office of the Secretary of
Defense to maintain oversight of space acquisitions and submit a detailed
oversight plan to Congress by March 15, 2003. 25




21
  See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Space Operations: Planning, Funding,
and Acquisition Challenges Facing Efforts to Strengthen Space Control, GAO-02-738
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 23, 2002); U.S. General Accounting Office, Best Practices: Better
Management of Technology Development Can Improve Weapon System Outcomes,
GAO/NSIAD-99-162 (Washington, D.C.: July 30, 1999); U.S. General Accounting Office, Best
Practices: Better Matching of Needs and Resources Will Lead to Better Weapon System
Outcomes, GAO-01-288 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 8, 2001); U.S. General Accounting Office,
Defense Acquisition: Best Commercial Practices Can Improve Program Outcomes,
GAO/T-NSIAD-99-116 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 17, 1999); and U.S. General Accounting
Office, Best Practices: Capturing Design and Manufacturing Knowledge Early Improves
Acquisition Outcomes, GAO-02-701 (Washington, D.C.: July 15, 2002)
22
  U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Acquisitions: Risks Remain for the AEHF
Satellite Communications System, GAO-03-63 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 31, 2003).
23
  U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Acquisitions: Space Based Infrared System-
Low at Risk of Missing Initial Deployment Date, GAO-01-6 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 28,
2001).
24
  The Joint Requirements Oversight Council is composed of senior military officers from
each service and makes recommendations to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on
programmatic alternatives, tradeoffs, risks, bill-payers, and effectiveness.
25
     P.L. 107-314.




Page 15                                             GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
DOD and Services Lack a    DOD does not have a strategic approach for defense space personnel that
Strategic Approach to      could better guide the development of the individual services’ space cadre
Build and Maintain Cadre   plans to support the department’s strategic goals.26 The Space Commission
                           noted that from its inception the defense space program has benefited
of Space Professionals     from world-class scientists, engineers, and operators, but now many
                           experienced personnel are retiring and the recruitment and retention of
                           qualified space personnel is a problem. The net effect of a workforce that
                           is not balanced by age or experience puts at risk the orderly transfer of
                           institutional knowledge. Further, the commission concluded that DOD
                           does not have the strong military space culture—including focused career
                           development and education and training—it needs to create and maintain
                           a highly trained and experienced cadre of space professionals who can
                           master highly complex technology as well as develop new concepts of
                           operation for offensive and defensive space operations. In October 2001,
                           the Secretary of Defense directed the military services27 to draft specific
                           guidance and plans for developing, maintaining, and managing a cadre of
                           space professionals to provide expertise within their services and joint
                           organizations.28 However, the Secretary did not direct development of a
                           departmentwide space human capital strategy to ensure that national
                           security space human capital goals, roles, responsibilities, and priorities
                           are clearly articulated so that the service implementation plans are
                           coordinated to meet overall stated requirements.

                           The Army, Navy, and Air Force have each produced initial guidance on
                           developing and managing their own space professionals.29 However, none
                           of these provide details about how the individual service will proceed with
                           developing and implementing plans for addressing service and joint force
                           requirements in future years, or time frames for implementing space cadre


                           26
                             In prior reports and testimony, we identified strategic human capital management
                           planning as a governmentwide high-risk area and a key area of challenge. See Major
                           Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of Defense, GAO-03-98
                           (Washington, D.C., Jan. 2003).
                           27
                              The Commander, Air Force Space Command, is charged with managing career
                           development and education and training within the Air Force, which contains the majority
                           of space professionals.
                           28
                             As we reported previously, DOD also lacks a strategic approach to manage joint officer
                           requirements. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Personnel: Joint Officer
                           Development Has Improved, but a Strategic Approach Is Needed, GAO-03-238
                           (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 19, 2002).
                           29
                             Planning for the space personnel in the U.S. Marine Corps will be included in the Navy’s
                           space cadre planning.




                           Page 16                                              GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                      management plans. The services’ plans are still being developed, and we
                      were not afforded access to the draft plans to assess their completeness
                      and viability nor were we given firm estimates of when they might be
                      completed and implemented. However, service officials told us that
                      planning to date has focused on the military officer corps and has not
                      included the enlisted or civilian personnel who also support space
                      operations. In conjunction with space cadre planning, the services
                      outlined some initiatives to increase space education for all military
                      personnel, but these have not been fully implemented. While each service
                      has separately begun planning to build and maintain a service space cadre,
                      the services have not yet begun to coordinate their plans across DOD to
                      ensure a shared direction and time frames. The Under Secretary of the Air
                      Force said that other areas of space operations, such as acquisitions, have
                      taken priority but that he plans to devote more attention to this area to
                      achieve greater progress.


                      The Department of Defense has produced some policies and guidance to
Space Program Lacks   implement its space program, but it has not completed a comprehensive
Results-Oriented      strategy or an implementation plan to guide the program and monitor its
                      results. DOD is in the process of developing some elements of a
Management            results-oriented management framework, such as a national security space
Framework             strategy, an annual national security space plan, and a directive
                      formalizing the Air Force’s role as an executive agent for space. According
                      to officials in the Office of National Security Space Integration responsible
                      for developing the strategy and plan, these documents along with the
                      annual assessment of the services’ space budget proposals will enable the
                      executive agent for DOD space to track the extent to which resources are
                      supporting national security space priorities. Officials also said that as
                      executive agent for space, the Air Force plans to report on its progress to
                      officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense although the content and
                      process that will be used is still being developed. However, DOD did not
                      provide us drafts of the national security space strategy and plan or the
                      executive agent directive; therefore, we could not assess whether these
                      documents comprise a results-oriented management framework or
                      specifically how DOD will provide department-level oversight of the Air
                      Force’s activities as executive agent for space.

                      Management principles embraced in the Government Performance and
                      Results Act of 199330 provide agencies at all levels with a framework for


                      30
                           P.L. 103-62.



                      Page 17                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
effectively implementing and managing programs, and shift the program
management focus from measuring program activities and processes to
measuring program outcomes. Table 1 more fully describes these
principles and their critical elements.

Table 1: Elements of a Results-Oriented Management Framework

 Principle                                   Critical elements
 Define the program’s overall purpose,       • Long-term goals—typically general in
 mission, and intent (i.e., strategy).         nature that lay out what the agency
                                               wants to accomplish in the next
                                               15 years.
                                             • Approaches—general methods the
                                               agency plans to use to accomplish
                                               long-term goals.
                                             • External factors—factors that may
                                               significantly affect the agency’s ability
                                               to accomplish goals.
 Describe detailed implementation actions as • Performance goals—stated in objective
 well as measurements and indicators of        measurable form.
 performance (i.e., performance plan).       • Resources—a description of the
                                               resources needed to meet the
                                               performance goals.
                                             • Performance indicators—mechanisms
                                               to measure outcomes of the program.
                                             • Evaluation plan—means to compare
                                               and report on program results vs.
                                               performance goals.
                                             • Corrective actions—a list of actions
                                               needed to address or revise any unmet
                                               goals.
Source: GAO.

Note: Management principles contained in the Government Performance and Results Act.


These principles and critical elements, when combined with effective
leadership, can provide a results-oriented management framework to
guide programs and activities at all levels. These management tools are
designed to provide the agencies, Congress, and other decisionmakers a
means to understand a program’s evolution and implementation as well as
to determine whether initiatives are achieving their desired results.

DOD has established some elements of a results-oriented management
framework for space programs that are embedded in various directives,
guidance, and instructions. For example, the Sept. 30, 2001, Quadrennial
Defense Review forms the backbone for the development and integration
of DOD’s missions and strategic priorities, and details six operational
goals including one to enhance the capability and survivability of U.S.
space systems. DOD views the review as its strategic plan, in compliance


Page 18                                                GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
with Government Performance and Results Act requirements, and, as
such, the review forms the foundation from which DOD’s results-oriented
performance goals are identified and progress is measured. Additionally,
the September 1996, National Space Policy prepared by the White House
National Science and Technology Council provides broad guidance for
civil, commercial, national security, and other space sectors.

Although DOD’s space goals are linked to the overall national military
policies, DOD has not developed all elements of a management framework
to effectively manage DOD’s space operations or measure their progress.
The Office of National Security Space Integration is in the process of
developing a national security space strategy and plan that will set out
priorities to guide planning and budgeting across the department and
better integrate military and intelligence space activities. The strategy and
plan will form a roadmap for achieving space goals in the near- and mid-
term, according to an official developing these documents. These
documents will be key to setting research, development, and operational
goals and integrating future space operations in the military and
intelligence communities. According to National Security Space
Integration Office officials, the national security space strategic plan will
be linked to the overarching National Space Policy and existing long-range
space strategies and plans such as those of the NRO, National Security
Space Architect, and the military services. These officials told us that the
national security space strategy and plan and the annual assessment by the
National Security Space Architect of whether the services’ budgets are
consistent with policy, planning guidance, and architectural decisions, will
be key components of their space management approach. However,
officials said that they have not yet determined performance goals and
measures to assess program implementation progress and ascertain
whether program initiatives are achieving their desired results. Until such
plans are finalized, DOD cannot be sure that it is investing its resources in
the best way possible to support current and future requirements for space
operations. National Security Space Integration Office officials said they
hope to release the national security space strategy and plan in early 2003,
but they did not provide us a copy of the draft strategy or plan. Therefore,
we could not determine the extent to which these documents contain all
the key elements of a results-oriented management framework.

A framework to lead and manage a space program effectively requires a
program-specific strategy and performance plan to implement actions.
However, to date DOD has not established specific space objectives that
are linked to overall program goals and resource requirements, nor has it
established specific performance goals or other mechanisms to measure


Page 19                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
program outcomes. In its 2000 Annual Report to the President and
Congress, DOD provided a performance plan for achieving its annual
performance goals,31 but it did not include performance goals and
measures for space activities in that report.

Without a results-oriented management plan, linked to higher-level
strategies, the services do not have clearly defined space objectives and
milestones to guide their initiatives, nor does DOD have a mechanism to
ensure successful accomplishment of integrated efforts without gaps and
duplications. For example, lacking an integrated national security space
strategy and plan, the services developed their fiscal year 2004-09 program
budget plans without clearly defined objectives and milestones for space
activities. In addition, the National Security Space Architect’s assessment
of defense and intelligence space programs’ planned budgets for fiscal
years 2004–2009, was complicated by the lack of an integrated overall
strategy with performance measures. Instead, the Architect relied on
multiple policies, studies, architectures, and guidance to identify overall
effectiveness goals. Without an overall space strategy, including
results-oriented goals and performance measures, DOD cannot fully gauge
its progress toward increasing the effectiveness of national security space
activities.

Moreover, it is not clear which DOD office will be responsible for
assessing the efficacy of the Air Force as executive agent for space or
evaluating progress in achieving performance goals, once they are
established. Witnesses before the Space Commission expressed concerns
about how the Air Force would treat space activities and the extent to
which it would fully address the requirement that it provide space
capabilities to the other services. Several organizations within the Office
of the Secretary of Defense participate in ongoing oversight of space
activities, including Offices of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence); the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); the Under Secretary of Defense
(Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics); and the Under Secretary of
Defense (Policy); and the Director (Program Analysis and Evaluation).
While each office has oversight responsibilities for different aspects of
space activities, no one office is charged with ensuring that the Air Force’s
space program is having the desired results. DOD’s guidance on executive



31
  Cohen, William S., Annual Report to the President and the Congress, Appendix I
(Washington, D.C.: 2000). The 2000 Performance Plan was the last one DOD produced.




Page 20                                           GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
              agents specifies that the principal assistant(s) in the Office of the
              Secretary should assess executive agents’ performance no less frequently
              than every 3 years, although it does not specify the mechanism to be used
              for the assessment.32 According to DOD officials, the principal assistants
              for the executive agent for space—the Air Force—are the offices named
              above, and the issue of how the progress of the Air Force as executive
              agent should be assessed is being discussed, and the process and content
              by which the national security space program will be independently
              evaluated or whether one office will be designated to lead such an
              independent evaluation has not been decided. In commenting on a draft of
              this report, DOD said that currently the Assistant Secretary of Defense for
              Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence has responsibility
              to establish policy and provide direction to the DOD components on
              command, control, communications and intelligence-related space
              systems and serves as the primary focal point for staff coordination within
              DOD and other government agencies. However, it is not clear from the
              comments whether this office will be tasked with oversight of activities of
              the Air Force as executive agent for DOD space.


              DOD has charged the Air Force with leadership responsibilities for space
Conclusions   activities and has taken some actions that have the potential to improve its
              management ability. While DOD plans to increase investment in
              technology, has developed a new acquisition strategy, and has directed the
              services to begin some initial planning on the national security space cadre
              issue, more remains to be done to meet these long-term management
              challenges critical to success in national security space activities. In the
              area of creating a space cadre, however, DOD lacks an overall human
              capital strategic approach to manage the space forces, leaving the services
              at risk of developing human capital plans that do not meet the overall
              national security space needs of the department. Moreover, no time frames
              have been established for developing coordinated plans. Furthermore, the
              department does not have a complete results-oriented management
              framework to assess the results of the changes in its organization and
              processes and gauge its progress toward achieving its long-term goals in
              the future. Therefore, the services and Intelligence Community continue to
              develop national security space programs based on their own
              requirements without the benefit of overarching guidance on national
              security space goals, objectives, and priorities. Also, in its fiscal year 2000


              32
                   DOD Directive 5100.88 (Sept. 3, 2002).




              Page 21                                       GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                      performance report that accompanied its budget, the department did not
                      include performance goals and measures for space activities, which would
                      be a mechanism to highlight program progress and signal the relative
                      importance of national security space activities. Although the Under
                      Secretary of the Air Force, as DOD’s focal point for space, is responsible
                      for leading the implementation of the national security space strategy and
                      plan, questions have been raised about the extent to which the Air Force
                      will fairly address the needs of the other services and defense agencies.
                      Furthermore, DOD has not specified an oversight mechanism at the
                      Secretary of Defense level to periodically assess the progress of the Air
                      Force in achieving the department’s goals for space activities and in
                      addressing the requirements of the other services and defense agencies.
                      Without such oversight, it will be difficult for DOD to know whether the
                      changes made are having the desired results of strengthening national
                      security space activities.


                      To improve the management of national security space activities, we
Recommendations for   recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following actions:
Executive Actions
                  •   require the executive agent for DOD space, in conjunction with the
                      services, to establish a departmentwide space human capital strategy that
                      includes goals and time lines to develop and maintain a cadre of military
                      and civilian space professionals;
                  •   require the executive agent for DOD space to develop a comprehensive
                      management framework for space activities that includes a results-
                      oriented national security space strategy tied to overall department-level
                      space goals, time lines, and performance measures to assess space
                      activities’ progress in achieving national security space goals;
                  •   include performance goals and measures for space activities in DOD’s next
                      departmentwide performance report; and
                  •   designate an oversight entity in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to
                      periodically assess the progress of DOD’s executive agent in achieving
                      goals for space activities.

                      We further recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretaries
                      of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to review, and as necessary,
                      adjust service cadre plans to ensure they are linked to the department’s
                      space human capital strategy when completed.




                      Page 22                                    GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                     In its comments on our draft report, DOD agreed with our
Agency Comments      recommendations to establish a departmentwide space human capital
and Our Evaluation   strategy; develop a management framework for space activities that
                     includes a results-oriented national security space strategy tied to overall
                     department-level space goals, time lines, and performance measures;
                     include goals and measures for space activities in the department’s next
                     performance report; and designate an oversight entity in the Office of the
                     Secretary of Defense to assess the progress of DOD’s executive agent in
                     achieving goals for space activities. In its comments, DOD stated that it is
                     already in the process of developing strategies and plans to address the
                     issues of strategic planning—including goals, time lines, and performance
                     measures—and developing space professional personnel. DOD partially
                     agreed with our recommendation that the military services’ space cadre
                     plans be linked to the department’s space human capital strategy when
                     completed, stating that the services are already drafting separate plans
                     that will be synchronized and linked to an overall national security space
                     plan, and that the services should not wait to complete their own plans.
                     We agree that development of an overall plan can logically take place
                     concurrently with service planning and have reworded our
                     recommendation accordingly. The intent of our recommendation to
                     develop an overall human capital strategy and service plans that are
                     appropriately linked to the overall strategy is to ensure that the services
                     and defense agencies provide adequate training to meet service and
                     defensewide requirements. Furthermore, with an integrated approach, the
                     service plans should offer training programs that minimize duplication of
                     effort and reduce critical gaps of coverage to effectively create and
                     maintain a capable space cadre across the department. DOD’s comments
                     are included in this report in appendix III. DOD also provided technical
                     clarifications, which we incorporated as appropriate.

                     Our scope and methodology are detailed in appendix IV. We performed
                     our work from June 2002 to February 2003 in accordance with generally
                     accepted government auditing standards. Contacts and staff
                     acknowledgements are listed in appendix V.


                     We are sending copies of this report to interested congressional
                     committees, the Secretary of Defense; the Secretaries of the Army, the
                     Navy, and the Air Force; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the
                     Commander, U.S. Strategic Command; the Director, Defense Advanced
                     Research Projects Agency; and the Director, Office of Management and
                     Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon request. In



                     Page 23                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
addition, this report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at
http://www.gao.gov.

Please contact me at (202) 512- 6020 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report.




Raymond J. Decker, Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 24                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
               Appendix I: Status of Actions Taken to
Appendix I: Status of Actions Taken to
               Implement Short- and Mid-Term Space
               Commission Recommendations


Implement Short- and Mid-Term Space
Commission Recommendations
               The Secretary of Defense agreed with the Space Commission’s finding that
               the Department of Defense (DOD) needed a new and comprehensive
               national security space management approach to promote and protect
               U.S. interests in space. In a May 8, 2001, letter to the leaders of the defense
               and intelligence oversight committees, the Secretary informed Congress
               that he would take actions to improve DOD’s management structure and
               organization for national security space actions. These actions largely
               represented organizational and management changes the Space
               Commission recommended to improve DOD’s focus on national security
               space activities and better coordinate military and intelligence space
               activities.

               We reported in June 2002 that DOD had implemented or was in the
               process of implementing 10 of the 13 recommendations the Space
               Commission directed to it. At that time, DOD had completed action on six
               recommendations and was in the process of implementing four others.
               The Secretary of Defense chose not to implement three of the
               commission’s recommendations and instead opted to (1) establish a focal
               point for space within the Air Force rather than create an Under Secretary
               of Defense for Space, Information, and Intelligence; (2) increase the Air
               Force’s responsibilities by department directive rather than requesting
               legislative change; and (3) direct existing organizations to conduct
               innovative space research and development rather than create a new
               organization to do so.




               Page 25                                      GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Appendix I: Status of Actions Taken to
Implement Short- and Mid-Term Space
Commission Recommendations




As table 2 shows, DOD has implemented or is nearing implementation of
these 10 recommendations. DOD has completed actions to implement
three recommendations that were categorized as “in progress” in our June
2002 report, as designated by the arrows in the table. Only the
recommendation that the Air Force be named executive agent for DOD
space remains to be finalized. However, the Air Force has taken on more
leadership responsibilities over the last year based on a memorandum that
expressed the Secretary’s intent to have the Air Force become the DOD
executive agent for space.

Table 2: Status of DOD’s Implementation of Space Commission Recommendations
as of January 2003

                                                     No action   In
Space Commission recommendation                      intended    progress   Completed
The Secretary of Defense and the Director of
Central Intelligence should meet regularly to
                                                                               ⌧
address national security space policy, objectives,
and issues.
Secretary of Defense should establish an under
secretary of defense for space, intelligence, and        ⌧
information.a
Secretary of Air Force should assign responsibility
for the command of Air Force Space Command to
a four-star officer other than the commander, U.S.                  ⌧          ⌧
Space Command and North American Aerospace
Defense Command.
Secretary of Defense should end the practice of
assigning only Air Force flight-rated officers to
                                                                                b
position of commander, U.S. Space Command
and North American Aerospace Defense
Command.
Air Force should realign headquarters and field
commands to more effectively organize, train, and                   ⌧          ⌧
equip for prompt and sustained space operations.
Air Force Space Command should be assigned
responsibility for providing resources to execute
                                                                               ⌧
space research, development, acquisition, and
operations.
Amend title 10 U.S.C. to assign the Air Force
responsibility to organize, train, and equip for air     ⌧
                        c
and space operations.
Secretary of Defense should designate the Air
                                              d                     ⌧
Force as DOD’s executive agent for space.
Assign the Under Secretary of the Air Force as
the Director of the National Reconnaissance                                    ⌧
Office.
Designate the Under Secretary of the Air Force as
                                                e                              ⌧
the Air Force acquisition executive for space.




Page 26                                            GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Appendix I: Status of Actions Taken to
Implement Short- and Mid-Term Space
Commission Recommendations




                                                             No action     In
    Space Commission recommendation                          intended      progress      Completed
    Secretary of Defense and Director of Central
    Intelligence should create a research,
    development, and demonstration organization to               ⌧
    focus on innovative space research and
                  f
    development.
    Secretary of Defense should direct the Defense
    Advanced Research Products Agency and
    service laboratories to undertake development                               ⌧              ⌧
    and demonstration of innovative space
    technologies.
    Secretary of Defense should establish a Major
                               g                                                               ⌧
    Force Program for Space.
Source: GAO analysis.
a
 Secretary of Defense opted to establish a focal point for space in the Under Secretary of the Air
Force.
b
  This recommendation no longer applies as the U.S. Space Command has been disestablished and
its missions transferred to the new U.S. Strategic Command.
c
 DOD opted to increase Air Force responsibility for organizing, equipping, and training for space
operations without requesting legislative change. In August 2002, it revised its directive promulgating
the functions of the department and its major components (Directive 5100.1) to reflect all services’
responsibilities to organize, train, and equip space forces.
d
  The executive agent is a term used to indicate a delegation of authority by the Secretary of Defense
to a subordinate to act on the Secretary’s behalf. The exact nature and scope of the authority
delegated may vary. It may be limited to providing administration and support or coordinating certain
functions or extend to direction and control over specified resources for specified purposes.
e
 The acquisition executive is the individual charged with overall acquisition management
responsibilities within his or her organization.
f
    This organization was not established.
g
 A major force program is an aggregation of related budget items that can be used to track resources
that support a macro-level combat or support mission.




Page 27                                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
             Appendix II: Time Line of Major Events in
Appendix II: Time Line of Major Events in
             DOD’s Implementation of Space Commission
             Recommendations


DOD’s Implementation of Space Commission
Recommendations

              Date                Event
              January 11, 2001    Space Commission report published.
              May 8, 2001         Secretary of Defense sent letter to Congress detailing intended
                                  actions.
              Oct. 1, 2001        Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center realigned from Air
                                  Force Materiel Command to Air Force Space Command
              Oct. 18, 2001       Secretary of Defense issued memorandum directing actions and
                                  time lines for implementing selected Space Commission
                                  recommendations.
              December 13, 2001   Under Secretary of the Air Force sworn in, after confirmation by
                                  the Senate, and appointed Director, National Reconnaissance
                                  Office, by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central
                                  Intelligence.
              January 2, 2002     Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and
                                  Logistics) promulgated policy memorandum directing DOD
                                  research community to undertake research and demonstration of
                                  innovative space technologies and systems.
              February 7, 2002    Under Secretary of the Air Force designated to be Air Force
                                  Acquisition Executive for space.
              February 14, 2002   Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and
                                  Logistics) delegated milestone decision authority for DOD major
                                  space programs to the Secretary of the Air Force with authority to
                                  redelegate to the Under Secretary of the Air Force.
              February 2002       “Virtual” major force program for space included in DOD’s Future
                                  Years Defense Program.
              April 19, 2002      Commanding general assumed command of the Air Force Space
                                  Command separate from U.S. Space Command and North
                                  American Aerospace Defense Command.
              June 26, 2002       GAO interim assessment of the status of DOD’s reorganization of
                                  space activities.
              August 2002         National Security Space Architect space program assessment.




             Page 28                                           GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
         Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense
Appendix III: Comments from the
Department of Defense




                     Page 29                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense




            Page 30                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense




            Page 31                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
             Appendix IV: Scope and Methodology
Appendix IV: Scope and Methodology


             To update the status of actions the Department of Defense (DOD) has
             taken to implement the Space Commission’s recommendations, we
             identified and monitored changes in DOD’s organization and management
             of space by reviewing DOD and service briefings and internal department
             directives and memoranda that identified issues and directed initiatives for
             improving management of space activities. We held discussions with
             officials from the Offices of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command,
             Control, Communications and Intelligence) and the Under Secretary of
             Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) and the Under Secretary
             of Defense (Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer) to discuss department
             guidance on implementing the recommendations and implementation
             activities. To identify actions the services took to improve management of
             space activities, we reviewed documentation of implementation actions
             and held discussions with Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps
             officials. Offices represented were the Under Secretary of the Air Force;
             the National Security Space Architect; the Air Force Space Command; the
             Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center; the 14th Air Force; the Army
             Space and Missile Defense Command; the Naval Network and Warfare
             Command; and Headquarters Marine Corps. Sites visited included the
             Pentagon, Washington, D.C; Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air
             Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Los Angeles Air Force Base, Los
             Angeles, California; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California.
             The National Reconnaissance Office provided written answers to
             questions we submitted.

             To determine progress in addressing some of the long-term space
             management challenges, we discussed challenges DOD, the Space
             Commission, other experts, and our previous reports have identified with
             officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Army; the Air
             Force; the Navy; the National Security Space Architect; the U.S. Strategic
             Command; the U.S. Northern Command; the Joint Staff; and outside
             experts. Given time and resource limitations, we focused our work on
             three of the many long-term management challenges to DOD’s space
             program—investing in science and technology, improving the timeliness
             and quality of space acquisitions, and building and maintaining a cadre of
             space professionals. To assess progress in investing in technology, we
             reviewed documentation and held discussions with officials from the
             Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the Office of the Director,
             Defense Research and Engineering; the Office of Under Secretary of
             Defense (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology); Naval Network and
             Warfare Command; the Naval Research Laboratory; and the Air Force
             Research Laboratory. To assess progress in implementing its acquisition



             Page 32                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
Appendix IV: Scope and Methodology




initiatives, we reviewed documentation and discussed the initiatives with
officials representing the Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force
and the Air Force Space Command. In addition, we discussed education
and training initiatives with officials from the Air Force Space Command;
Air University; Air Force Academy; the Army Space and Missile Defense
Command; Army Command and General Staff College; the Office of the
Chief of Naval Operations; the Naval Academy; the Naval Postgraduate
School; and Headquarters Marine Corps.

To assess whether DOD had a management framework that will foster the
success of its improvement efforts, we reviewed departmental plans and
strategies that set organizational goals and discussed oversight and
management activities—including setting strategic goals, developing
measures of progress, and planning time lines—with senior DOD and
service officials from offices that have major responsibilities for managing
space activities, including the Offices of Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence), the Under
Secretary of the Air Force, and the Air Force Space Command. We used
the principles embodied in the Government Performance and Results Act
of 1993 as criteria for assessing the adequacy of DOD’s management
framework to effectively manage and oversee the space program.




Page 33                                     GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
                  Appendix V: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments
Appendix V: GAO Contacts and Staff
Acknowledgments

                  Raymond J. Decker (202) 512-6020
GAO Contacts      Janet A. St. Laurent (202) 512-4402


                  In addition to the names above, Margaret Morgan,
Acknowledgments   MaeWanda Micheal-Jackson, Robert Poetta, and R.K. Wild made key
                  contributions to this report.




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                  Page 34                                         GAO-03-379 Defense Space Activities
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