Patrick Shanahan, America’s acting defense secretary officially declared the formation of Space Defense Agency early this week which will work an independent organization within DoD and will be managed by Under-secy. of Defense for Research and Engg Mike Griffin. Mr. Shanahan stated that this department will able to unify and enable space security efforts across the Dept of Defense. In an official memo he had mentioned that it will provide resilient space architecture that can enable low latency surveillance required to deter enemies and if that fails it can defeat adversary action to help maintain the nation’s competitive advantage.
He said that the goals of complete security cannot be achieved if American defense authorities are not able to keep pace with their long-time adversaries and it the system is bound by old legacy methods. As per details of official memo the SDA will be responsible for setting up overall program policy development and also execution of latest military space technologies except those that are funded by military intelligence dept. Shanahan has written that SDA will help to unify all space programs of defense departments to help reduce overlapping and wastage of resources. It will also be responsible for promotion of government relationships and international collaborations that are related to key allies and partners.
Besides working with different agencies the SDA will also collaborate with warfighters to address operational requirements and its first director will be Fred Kennedy who till recently was the director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He will have special authorities due to this senior position and will be able to formulate contracts and research projects, cooperative agreements and also provide prototype of projects. The director will also be authorized to hire civilians as employees for both short term appointments and as qualified experts. He will also have approval authority over assignments given to military personnel that are selected for special duty at SDA.