WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson discussed the importance of space pertaining to national security during an Air Force Association Breakfast March 30, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
“The FY19 budget that we presented builds on what we did with the FY18 budget,” said Wilson. “It accelerates defendable space and will accelerate capabilities to continue to ensure space dominance.”
Foregoing the continued buy of today’s Space Based Infrared System satellites 7 and 8, the Air Force will develop the next-generation Overhead Persistent Infrared system. This system will detect and report on current, emerging, and anticipated threats, and will be designed for survivability.
The budget adds resilience features and user protection to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Wideband Global Satellite Communications systems, and continues to fund development of next-generation protected satellite communications services for both strategic and operational military users.
The Air Force continues to explore more affordable and innovative ways to acquire satellite communications services with investment in both commercial industry and international partner capabilities.
“The world at large is dependent on space, one of the most important elements of space is provided by the United States Air Force,” said Wilson. “GPS enables everything from restaurant reviews to getting cash from your ATM, to the timing signal of the New York Stock Exchange.”
Out of 76 satellites the Air Force operates, 30 of them are dedicated to GPS and that service is provided by 40 Airmen in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Wilson said, those Airmen are the best when it comes to space. The Air Force has 90 percent of the military’s space programs and those space programs are deeply integrated within every service.
“Airmen have been there with others forecasting, tracking natural disasters for more than five decades, with new more capable, more defendable satellites on the way,” said Wilson. “From the launch pad to your iPad the United States Air Force is there… we are only getting better and faster.”