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House Draft Bill Eyes NRO to Manage Part of Air Force Space Weather Missions

satelliteA House subcommittee has drafted a bill that would give the National Reconnaissance Office authority over some of the U.S. Air Force’s space weather programs, Space News reported Tuesday.

The House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subpanel released Tuesday the draft version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which includes a provision that would require the Air Force to develop a plan to facilitate the transfer of procurement and funding functions for some of those programs to NRO, Mike Gruss writes.

The draft bill would hold off half of the $119 million in funds the service branch requested for the Weather Satellite Follow-on program in 2017 until it comes up with a plan for the transition that would occur between 2018 and 2022.

“The committee has been concerned with the Air Force’s lack of planning, coordination and execution of activities to meet the top two Joint Requirements Oversight Council certified requirements for space-based environmental monitoring,” according to a report accompanying the draft legislation.

Such requirements include the provision of in-theater weather imagery and cloud characterization services, Gruss reports.

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