Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president of government strategy and policy at Inmarsat Government, has said latest government efforts could pave the way for a cultural change that would leverage commercial satellite communications systems to support military missions.
She wrote in a Via Satellite piece posted Friday that one of those efforts is the House Appropriations Committee's move to allocate $49.5M in fiscal 2019 funds to help the U.S. Air Force establish a new program of record for commercial satcom.
Another initiative is the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes Gen. John “Jay“ Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, to oversee commercial satcom procurement for the Defense Department a year after the law's enactment, she noted.
“This signifies further movement toward consolidation of authority, while specifying that commercial satcom must play a key role in the government space acquisition model,“ Cowen-Hirsch said of the NDAA.
She cited the industry's potential role in the newly established commercial satcom office within Air Force Space Command and the need to fund industry-backed production, sustainment and operation through future federal appropriations.