Re: Air Force Space Command to discontinue space surveillance system

From: Paul Cefola (paul.cefola@gmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 14 2013 - 17:33:59 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "BY O 081513"

    Brian,
    
    Is this thought not significantly different than the previous message?
    
    Paul Cefola
    
    Sent from my iPhone
    
    On Aug 14, 2013, at 1:22 PM, Brian Weeden <brian.weeden@gmail.com> wrote:
    
    > Let me put it this way - the new S-Band Fence MIGHT have been part of the
    > decision but SHOULD NOT have been.
    > 
    > The challenge was how to cut the O&M budget for the existing SSN as a
    > result of sequestration. Earlier this spring AFSPC was mulling the option
    > of cutting back ops at Shemya, Cavalier, and AFSSS to 8-hr ops:
    > http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/33572air-force-sequestration-plan-targets-missile-warning-space-surveillance
    > 
    > Although other sensors in the SSN play a very limited role in space
    > surveillance, they are off the table for cuts because they play in missile
    > warning / missile defense and the missile defense advocates in the House
    > would raise hell (even if it meant no real increase in risk).
    > 
    > Instead, it appears AFSPC targeted the heavy space surveillance sensors
    > because they have no strong constituency in Congress.  They would
    > apparently rather have less capability and a higher collision risk than
    > face political heat from the House. I wrote about this back in March:
    > http://www.spacenews.com/article/misplaced-priorities-on-national-security-space#.UTYfujCG18E
    > 
    > The S-Band Fence could help RATIONALIZE the elimination of the AFSSS, as
    > one could argue that (eventually) it would provide a new capability that
    > eliminates the need for the AFSSS. But that's trading an existing,
    > functional and useful capability for an uncertain future capability.
    > 
    > There is another possibility - the AFSSS was eliminated to force Congress
    > to approve funding for the S-Band Fence.  If that's the case, it's a very
    > risky gamble, and one that best case means a degraded ability to identify
    > and track breakups and large amounts of debris for at least the next 5
    > years.
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > ---------
    > Brian
    > 
    > 
    > 
    > On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM, Nick Eftimiades <neftimiades@gmail.com>wrote:
    > 
    >> Brian,
    >> 
    >> Just because the funding pots are different doesn't mean the decision is
    >> not linked. In fact, I can't possibly see how the decision could be made
    >> without considering the S band fence.
    >> 
    >> 
    >> 
    >> On 14 Aug 2013, at 17:41, Brian Weeden <brian.weeden@gmail.com> wrote:
    >> 
    >> The procurement of the new S-Band Fence is not linked to the shutdown of
    >> the old AFSSS. The money for the two projects comes from two completely
    >> separate funding pots - Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funds for
    >> operating the existing AFSSS versus Research, Development, Testing, &
    >> Evaluation (RDT&E) funds for procuring the new S-Band Fence.
    >> 
    >> 
    >> 
    >> ---------
    >> Brian
    >> 
    >> 
    >> 
    >> On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Allen Thomson <thomsona@flash.net>
    >> wrote:
    >> 
    >>> A bit earlier 2017 was given as the IOC for the Kwajalein S-band radar,
    >>> but the project has been under review since sequestration.  The second
    >>> S-band seems to have disappeared from the discussion.
    >>> 
    >>> [OT]
    >>> BTW, note that the savings that are claimed from shutting down the
    >> present
    >>> VHF system are claimed to be $14M/yr, whereas the cost of procuring the
    >>> S-band system will run in the $1B-$3B range, presumably spread out over a
    >>> decade or so. The financial logic of that is not totally obvious.
    >>> [/OT]
    >>> 
    >>> ------------------------------
    >>> *From:* Brian Weeden <brian.weeden@gmail.com>
    >>> *To:*
    >>> *Cc:* "seesat-l@satobs.org" <seesat-l@satobs.org>
    >>> *Sent:* Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:02 AM
    >>> *Subject:* Re: Air Force Space Command to discontinue space surveillance
    >>> system
    >>> 
    >>> Note that no date for IOC of either the new S-Band Space Fence or JMS was
    >>> provided. They are still dreams for the future.
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