U.S. Space Force

May 16, 2022
 

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado, has been awarded a $16,639,955 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification (P00052) to previously awarded FA8810-18-C-0002 for Weather System Follow-on Microwave. The contract modification is for the exercise of an option for integration, test, and operational work of the Weather System Follow-on Microwave Space Vehicle 1. Work will be performed in Boulder, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by May 15, 2025. Fiscal 2022 research and development funds are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $417,366,982. Space Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. 

May 4, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
In late May or June, the U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 2 is standing up another new squadron, the 15th Space Surveillance Squadron, which will uniquely conduct traditional space domain awareness operations at the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) system that sits at 10,000 feet atop Maui’s Mt. Haleakalā, as well as perform cutting-edge research and development. Photo courtesy of Bike Maui @bikingMaui

The U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 2 has been working over the last year or so to revamp itself in preparation for providing enhanced space domain awareness. The Delta, which is headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, with space domain awareness functions at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Maui, Hawaii; Huntsville, Alabama; and the Naval Support Facility in Dahlgren, Virginia; is now comprised of four squadrons, up from two.

April 4, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
A Falcon 9 rocket launches on January 6, 2020, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket, carrying an installment of Starlink satellites, was the first official launch of the U.S. States Space Force. In its second budget request to Congress, the service is seeking $24.5 billion to ensure space resiliency and dominance for the U.S. military. Credit: Air Force Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker

The U.S. Space Force is requesting $24.5 billion from Congress for its fiscal year 2023 operating budget, most of which is an ask for $15.8 billion for research, development, test and evaluation efforts, given the need to modernize and protect U.S. military space-based assets. The Space Force provides space-based capabilities in support of the Air Force’s core missions of command and control, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, amongst other efforts.

January 4, 2022
 

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been awarded a $24,538,730 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification (P00010) to previously awarded contract FA8807-21-C-0003 for the Military Global Positioning System User Equipment Increment 2 Miniature Serial Interface (MSI) contract. The modification incorporates MSI Engineering Change Proposal-1 into the baseline and provides continued MSI with Next Generation Application-Specific Integrated Circuit Technology Development capabilities. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2025.

December 17, 2021
 

Lockheed Martin Corp., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $27,387,206 contract for Global Broadcast Service (GBS) architecture sustaining engineering. This contract provides for architecture sustaining engineering support to ensure the GBS is available to users worldwide.  GBS provides worldwide continuous one-way high-speed information flow over Wideband Global Satellite Communications military KA-band satellites to disseminate information products to deployed and in-garrison forces. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado; Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado; and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2026.

December 17, 2021
 

GEOST LLC, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $31,988,200 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00003) to previously awarded contract FA8819-21-C-1001 for a low size, weight, and power Space Domain Awareness hosted payload. The modification provides for additional in-scope work for an end-to-end demonstration, payload storage, host vehicle integration and on-orbit support efforts. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by January 31, 2023. Fiscal 2022 Space Force research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,434,128 are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $38,837,942.

December 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
In a December 17 media call to reporters, Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, USAF, announces the first two Space University Research Initiative, or SURI, projects. She said the work in space logistics, mobility and domain is what is needed to further the U.S. Space Force’s and Air Force’s missions.

Today, the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, unveiled the two winning groups of the Space University Research Initiative program, the first such university-based research effort for the two-year old U.S. Space Force, which may also result in technology transition to the U.S. Air Force.

December 2, 2021
 

Palantir USG Inc., Palo Alto, California, has been awarded a $43,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification (P00005) to previously awarded contract FA8806-21-C-0010 for a Data-as-a-Service platform. The modification provides for the exercise of an option for additional term software licenses, cloud hosting, enablement services, support and training for each platform solution being performed under the basic contract. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California; Palo Alto, California; Washington, D.C.; and New York, New York, and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2022.

November 24, 2021
 

Blue Canyon Technologies Inc., Lafayette, Colorado, was awarded a $14,609,337 not-to-exceed, cost-plus-fixed-fee type contract for the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Micro-Satellite Bus (AgileSAT) Program. This contract provides for the development and demonstration of a small satellite bus that can operate and maneuver effectively for up to three years in orbits beyond the geosynchronous equatorial orbit and has flexible support for a broad range of payloads. Work will be performed in Lafayette, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by February 28, 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition via the Small Business Innovative Research Program.

December 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility enabled by Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to its launch enterprise could enable U.S. Space Force guardians and U.S. Air Force airmen to conduct their launch mission-related tasks from really anywhere. In June, the Space Force and its mission partners at Cape Canaveral successfully launched into medium earth orbit the fifth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System III Space Vehicle, SV05, aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Credit: SpaceX

The U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to the launch enterprise could bring earth-shattering flexibility to its mission operations, its commander says. Under a year-long pilot effort, officials at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, Space Launch Delta 45’s headquarters, and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, its launch range, have installed zero trust-related software and hardware into the launch mission system and are conducting beta testing and evaluation of the capabilities.

November 22, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno, USAF (l), U.S. Space Force director of staff, speaks with Georgia Institute of Technology President Angel Cabrera and Devesh Ranjan, associate chair for Research and Ring Family Chair and professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Credit: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech

The two-year-old U.S. Space Force is growing its research and development community through partnership agreements with select U.S. institutions. Following the latest memorandum of understanding executed on Veterans Day with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, the Space Force’s cadre of academia partners now stands at 11 universities.

The Space Force’s University Partnership Program includes:

November 1, 2021
 

The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory LLC, Laurel, Maryland, has been awarded a $9,609,797 task order (FA8819-22-F-1000) to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract FA8819-18-D-0009 for Space Domain Awareness engineering and analysis in support of the development, technical assessment, evaluation and independent review of identified prototype and deployed systems. Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, and is expected to be completed by May 10, 2025. The Space Systems Command, Los Angeles AFB, California, is the contracting activity. 

October 18, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The 2021 Hyperspace Challenge has academia and companies looking at space situational awareness, tracking the trajectory of space debris and space-based manufacturing, among other topics. Credit: Shutterstock/sdecoret

The U.S. Space Force selected 13 startup companies and 11 universities to be a part of the Hyperspace Challenge, an annual event hosted by the service, the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity. The fourth such challenge will help accelerate solutions and research to support the Space Vehicles Directorate. The space-related organizations specialize in in-space manufacturing, servicing, sensing, propulsion and situational awareness, among other capabilities.

September 23, 2021
 

The Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $1,150,958,695 modification (P00065) to previously awarded contract FA8802-19-C-0001 for systems engineering and integration support for the National Space Community. This modification provides for the exercise of Option Year Three for fiscal 2022 services being procured under the multiple year contract. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2022. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $4,470,506,651. Space Systems Command, El Segundo, California, is the contracting activity.

September 17, 2021
 

Maj. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein, USSF, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commander, Space Systems Command, U.S. Space Force, Los Angeles Air Base.  

September 1, 2021
 

Palantir USG Inc. Palo Alto, California, was awarded a $48,500,000 firm-fixed-price definitization modification (PZ0004) to contract FA8806-21-C-0010 for a Data-as-a-Service Platform. This effort will provide the government with a term software licenses, cloud hosting, enablement services, support and training for each platform solution. The location of performance is El Segundo California; Palo Alto, California, Washington, D.C.; and New York, New York. The work is expected to be completed by November 30, 2021, with three six-month options. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $91,500,000.

September 1, 2021
 

Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Thornton, Colorado, was awarded a $121,968,000 firm-fixed-price contract to construct the Consolidated Space Operations Facility at Schriever Air Force Base. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of January 2, 2025. Fiscal 2021 military construction, Air Force funds in the amount of $121,968,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska, is the contracting activity (W9128F-21-C-0041).

August 27, 2021
 

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory LLC, Laurel, Maryland, has been awarded a $12,483,112 bilateral modification (P00006) to previously awarded contract FA8819-18-D-0009’s task order FA8819-20-F-1005 for additional studies, concept development, systems engineering and technical assessments, modeling, simulation, and prototyping/experiments. Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, and is expected to be completed by May 10, 2025. The total value of the task order is $22,138,689. Fiscal 2019, 2020 and 2021 operation and maintenance; and research and development funds in the amount of $2,226,000 were obligated at the time of award.

August 18, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, USSF (r), pictured with Gen. Jay Raymond, USSF, chief of Space Force Operations, takes leadership of the U.S. Space Force’s newest command, the Space Systems Command (SSC), during a ceremony last Friday. He has outlined several key initial priorities for SSC, including budgetary funding from Congress and having lawmakers understand how SSC “must be postured and empowered” to keep pace against adversaries. Credit: Van Ha, SSC Public Affairs

The commander of the U.S. Space Force’s new Space Systems Command, or SSC, is prioritizing the budgetary funding, technology preparations and partnerships as a few of his early goals. Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, USSF, set the stage for the SSC’s future during the U.S. Space Force’s official stand up of the new field command last week. The command—which was redesignated from the U.S.

August 13, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, USSF, commander, Space Systems Command, pictured at the podium during the official stand up ceremony of the U.S. Space Force’s new Space Systems Command August 13, takes the reins as the command’s first leader.

The U.S. Space Force officially stood up the Space Systems Command, or SSC, today. Leaders spent the last year developing the new field command redesignated from the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base.

The SSC stand up cleared one of the last hurdles with the U.S. Senate’s July 26 voice vote approval of SSC’s first commander, Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein, USSF, to become lieutenant general. The commander, who had most recently served as the deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), took lead of SSC during a ceremony at the base today; Lt. Gen. John Thompson, USAF, the commander of SMC, retired July 27.

July 26, 2021
 

Braxton Technologies LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $139,448,344 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00036) to contract FA8806-19-C-0003 for satellite operations, prototyping, and integration for support and delivery, network, infrastructure, hardware, and architecture solutions. This modification provides cross-domain solutions, design, integration, and rapid delivery team services. Work will be located at Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California, and is expected to be completed May 16, 2024. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5,748,384 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $233,956,395.

July 7, 2021
 

L3 Harris Interstate Electronics Corp., Inc., Anaheim, California, has been awarded a $14,608,799 modification (P00005) to contract FA8807-21-C-0005 for the Military Global Positioning System (GPS) User Equipment (MGUE) Increment 2 Miniature Serial Interface (MSI) contract. The contract modification is to incorporate an MSI engineering change proposal into the baseline. Work will be performed in Anaheim, California, and is expected to be completed March 14, 2025. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $157,891,672. Fiscal 2021 Space Force research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,524,022 are being obligated at the time of award.

June 21, 2021
 

The Boeing Co., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $20,601,818 firm-fixed-price modification (P00127) to previously awarded contract FA8808-10-C-0001 for the launch and mission operations design and products effort for the Wideband Global Satellite Communication space vehicle 11. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be complete by June 24, 2024. Fiscal 2021 procurement funds in the amount of $20,601,818 are being obligated at the time of award. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $2,535,155,954. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.

May 3, 2021
 

Sigmatech Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $17,345,725 One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services task order for Launch, Range, and Networks advisory and assistance support. This contract provides for technical support in the areas of operations, planning, budgeting, resource analysis, requirements development and justification, mission communications engineering and enterprise support, configuration control, project integration, studies, aeronautical procedures and program reviews in support of mission operations, research and development needed to support system development and integration, and sustainment activities.

April 27, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Space Force is in the process of standing up the National Space Intelligence Center, or NSIC, with a goal of reaching initial operating capability, or IOC, by January 2022. NSIC will perform national and military space foundational missions and will evaluate capabilities, performance, limitations and vulnerabilities of space and counterspace systems and services, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, director, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), U.S. Space Force.

April 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying SpaceX’s Starlink L-23 payload launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, April 7. As the United States increases its posture in space, it needs better space intelligence to support its missions, experts say. Credit: U.S. Space Force photo by Airman First Class Thomas Sjoberg

The United States military has to broaden its space-based intelligence capabilities, to provide astute situational awareness and analysis to conducting space-related missions, as the threats to the domain rise. Those in the sector have been warning that space had become a threatened domain for the last decade, said Lara Schmidt, principal director, Strategic and Global Awareness Directorate, The Aerospace Corporation. Today there are about 70 nations operating in space in one way or another.

March 18, 2021
 

Col. Devin R. Pepper, USAF, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, U.S. Space Force.

 

March 11, 2021
 

Col. Todd R. Moore, USAF, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, U.S. Space Force. 

 

March 4, 2021
 

Col. Dennis O. Bythewood, USAF, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, U.S. Space Force.

 

March 1, 2020
 

Qayaq Government Solutions LLC,* Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded a $7,902,831 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a new space control facility at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of March 3, 2022. Fiscal 2018 military construction, defense-wide funds in the amount of $7,902,831 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Property and Fiscal Office, Colorado, is the contracting activity (W50S6V-21-C-0001).

February 24, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Joseph Lengyel (l), USAFG, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Col. Hall, USAG from the Louisiana National Guard during a 2020 tour of the state’s Public Safety warehouse supporting the COVID-19 response in Baton Rouge. The Space Force could have a guard component, but the Defense Department needs to complete a study on the viability. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Toby Valadie

In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), lawmakers asked the Department of Defense to study the personnel structure of the Space Force, including a possible guard component, similar to the other services’ National Guard forces. That study is still pending, explained Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, but the possibility remains for creation of a Space Force National Guard.

February 8, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. John Raymond, USSF, chief of space operations, is seeing increased cooperation among the new U.S. Space Force and international partners.

The formation of the U.S. Space Force has led to more advanced cooperation in the space domain with existing and new partners, according to the force’s chief of space operations. Gen. John Raymond, USSF, noted that some nations even followed the U.S. example in giving space an increased priority as a warfighting domain.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group media roundtable, Gen. Raymond stated that the United States is stronger as a nation with a stable and secure space domain. “The United States is a spacefaring nation, and we’ve long known that access to space and freedom to maneuver in space underpin all the instruments of our national power,” he declared.

December 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders, speaking at AFCEA NOVA's recent Information Technology Day, see the growth of the one-year-old U.S. Space Force as the service works to strike its own path from the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Space Force plans to have a mix of about half military and half civilian workers, reaching roughly 16,000 personnel. As of the end of last week, 2,206 enlisted and officer personnel had transferred into the new service, reported Brig. Gen. Shawn Campbell, USAF, deputy director of Personnel, U.S. Space Force. Almost 60 more field-grade officers will move into the Space Force shortly, after Congress approves these non-space operators, who will work in intelligence, cyber, engineering or acquisition roles.

December 3, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Space Force office has revealed a hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial satellite contracts to be awarded in the coming months. Credit; Panuwatccn/Shutterstock

During the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, the U.S. Space Force revealed a total of 25 commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) contracts to be awarded in the coming months. 

Mike Nichols, chief of the COMSATCOM Solutions program, a business unit of the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, U.S. Space Force, highlighted several of the opportunities. Some programs released requests for proposal in November, but industry still has time to respond.

September 29, 2020
 

The Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $1,110,220,291 modification (P00039) to previously awarded contract FA8802-19-C-0001 for systems engineering and integration support for the National Space Community. This modification provides for the exercise of Option Year Two for fiscal 2021 services being procured under the multiple year contract. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2021. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $3,268,568,356. The U.S. Space Force, Space and Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, California, is the contracting activity.

September 22, 2020
 

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a $298,044,362 firm-fixed-price Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications contract.  This contract provides a payload to develop hardware and software. Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed May 2025. This is a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $31,190,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity (FA8808-20-C-0049).

September 22, 2020
 

L3Harris Technologies Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $13,534,278, fixed-price incentive firm modification (P00008) to contract FA8823-20-C-0004 for system sustainment services Option Year 1.  This modification updates and revises the maintenance of space situational awareness integrated capabilities sustainment performance work statement requirements for the current option year. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Dahlgren, Virginia, and is expected to be completed January 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $21,165,500 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $98,994,351.

September 22, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
With industry partners, including the United Launch Alliance, or ULA, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) launches the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite (AEHF-5) at Cape Canaveral on an Atlas-V rocket in August 2019. Going forward the SMC will evolve into the Space Systems Command and will be seeking more horizontally focused solutions that can "plug and play" into a whole range of capabilities. Credit: SMC Public Affairs, Walter Talens

To outpace its adversaries in space, the U.S. Space Force intends on being a digital service. With a smaller force of about 16,000 total warfighters, civilians and contractors, the Space Force will have to rely on industry to bring the technologies needed to be a digitally advanced, said Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief, Space Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, Space Force. 

September 22, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Space Force will grow to about 16,000 warfighters, civilians and contractors. Top military leaders, including, Gen. John Raymond (l), commander of United States Space Command and Air Force Space Command; Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (c); and previous Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein, sign memorandums to authorize the service last December. Credit: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, Photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnett

The new fiscal year brings a more solidified U.S. Space Force. Beginning October 1, the service will stand up its three field commands: the Space Systems Command, the Space Operations Command and a Space Training and Readiness Command, reports Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief, Space Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, U.S. Space Force.

Gen. Saltzman spoke virtually to AFCEA International’s Northern Virginia or NOVA Chapter on September 18, 2020. “Our goal is to be able to increase the decision cycle as fast as possible so that we can provide operations, decisions and warfighting capabilities at an operationally relevant speed,” Gen. Saltzman emphasized.

September 22, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announce a new memorandum of understanding between the two organizations during a virtual event hosted by the Mitchell Institute.

A new memorandum of understanding was announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, USSF, during a Mitchell Institute virtual event.

September 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Being forced to telework by the pandemic is a blessing in disguise to the U.S. military intelligence community, say its leaders. Processes that have been fermenting as ideas for years are being embraced enthusiastically, and what had been considered half-baked now is the way of the future as the community deals with new threats and methods of operations.