Report: Congress Seeks Consolidation of DoD Satcom Acquisition

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CongressLawmakers are planning to consolidate the U.S. military’s communications acquisition, which could drop the Defense Information Systems Agency in favor of the U.S. Air Force‘s Space and Missile Systems Center, Breaking Defense reported Friday.

Sydney Freedberg Jr. writes that Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) indicated a provision in the House draft of the 2016 defense authorization bill calls for the Defense Department to identify an agent to procure satellite communications.

“We need a unified acquisition agent to create a unified architecture,” Bridenstine told the publication.

The report said the Senate Armed Services Committee specifically recommended SMC to be the agent for the integration of commercial and military satellite communications.

DISA currently leases satellite services from commercial providers while SMC buys military satellite capacity, Freedberg writes.

Bridenstine noted that an integrated system will combine flexibility, adaptability to new technologies and capabilities against jamming, hacking and satellite attacks.

The lawmaker added that the Protected Tactical Waveform will support the consolidation of military and commercial systems, and he is looking to fund the program outside the Advanced Extremely High Frequency account.

Freedberg reports that Bridenstine’s push for the Pathfinder program will also seek to work around current restrictions in commercial satellite communications acquisition.