Inmarsat’s Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch: FY 2018 NDAA Aims to Meet Military Satcom Requirements

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president of government strategy and policy for Inmarsat Government, has said the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act serves as the U.S. government’s response to help meet warfighters’ need for secure and resilient satellite communication capabilities with the aid of the commercial satcom industry.

Cowen-Hirsch wrote in a Via Satellite piece posted Thursday that satcom consolidation, expanded satcom capabilities and the alignment of satcom acquisition with operations are the three areas to watch as part of the law’s implementation.

She mentioned a provision in the FY 2018 NDAA that calls for the deputy defense secretary to create by Dec. 31 a plan to form a separate military office that will oversee the Defense Department’s national security space efforts.

“A single DoD office will oversee all national space activities, claiming ownership of the procurement, policies and practices, which will address key issues such as the need to elevate satcom capabilities while ensuring a more protected, resilient space environment,” she wrote.

Cowen-Hirsch cited the role of Gen. John Raymond, head of the Air Force Space Command and Joint Force Space Component Commander, in space operations and acquisition of comsatcom capabilities for DoD.

“This demonstrates further movement toward consolidation of authority, while specifying that comsatcom must play a key role in the government space acquisition model,” she noted.

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