Acting Defense Secretary and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Patrick Shanahan told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon could integrate the National Reconnaissance Office into the Space Force into the future, Defense News reported Thursday. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), SASC ranking member, asked about the Department of Defense’s reason for not putting NRO under the new service branch and Shanahan said DoD didn’t want to delay the formation of the new force.
“The bias in the proposal is towards speed. The proposal we submitted really represents the stakeholders that we have control of,” said Shanahan. “When we look at the many stakeholders, there is real work to be done there to negotiate. So we thought about it as a multi-step process where eventually there would be more alignment, but not in the first phase,” he added.
NRO is an agency within the intelligence community with approximately 3,000 employees and oversees several classified satellites for reconnaissance operations, according to the report.