Maj. Gen. David Thompson, vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, has said the Air Force plans to tap commercial contractors to operate its satellite constellations on a daily basis in order to allow the service branch to focus on other duties, C4ISRNET reported Thursday.
He told Satellite 2017 conference attendees Wednesday in Washington that the plan comes as the military branch shifts its focus on efforts to understand and respond to the current threat environment, Mark Pomerleau wrote.
Thompson noted that the Air Force is finalizing a request for proposals for a program that seeks to make contractors operators of wideband satellite communications systems from remote areas.
The report said Thompson expects the program to occur in 2018.
He also described at the event other Air Force space architecture programs such as the Space and Missile System Center’s Enterprise Ground Services and the Air Force Satellite Control Network, according to the report.