The Return of Space Command – The Space Force for Now

By Mark Wisinger, Senior Analyst

Space Force? Not exactly. The new FY19 NDAA features the requirement to re-establish Space Command – which is high-priority focus area for department policy makers in FY19.

DOD policy makers like John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, have been developing a plan to meet the Congressional mandate to re-establish US Space Command, which was originally de-established back in 2002. In the short term, we are likely to see Space Command spun out of STRATCOM as a subordinate command, considering Space Command was originally folded into STRATCOM back in 2002. It’ll primarily be staffed with Air Force Personnel as it is stood up, sourcing from STRATCOM and Air Force Space Command.

Now is the perfect time to start making inroads. Reach out to STRATCOM and AF Space Command and start jumpstarting those relationships. It’ll be all about leveraging existing relationships as STRATCOM and Air Force Space Command personnel are absorbed into the new organization. Mr. Rood indicated that a Space Development Agency is likely to be created to help accelerate space technology adoption by Space Command. This new development agency will require a lot of the standard-issue business and security tools, as well as data management, analysis and protection tools. We’re much more likely to see hiring from the private sector for the Space Development Agency, so building a pipeline there will depend upon establishing new relationships.

From a security standpoint, this new agency will be an enormous target for enemy state actors who will be looking to steal space IP, in a similar vein to what we saw with the F-35. This creates a huge demand for endpoint protection, data protection, identity and access management, network visibility, continuous monitoring and intrusion prevention, at both Space Command as well as the possible Space Development Agency. We can expect to see a healthy amount of funding set aside to help protect valuable space technology assets.

Just like Cyber Command, Space Command will be a vital agency for IT spend in the next 5 years as it is stood up to full operational capability. The DOD’s overall space programs portfolio is about $9B total and an Air Force memo released in September projected about $13 billion in funding for Space Command in the first five years — so you can see why it’s getting all this attention.

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