The Department of the Air Force has announced Rocket Cargo as the fourth Vanguard program and designated the U.S. Space Force as the lead service branch for Rocket Cargo Vanguard, the U.S. Air Force reported Friday.
The Space and Missile Systems Center will act as the program executive officer and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will oversee a science and technology initiative to assess the viability of using large commercial rockets for the Department of Defense’s logistics mission as part of the Rocket Cargo Vanguard.
AFRL will study the capability to land a rocket at remote sites and other nontraditional surfaces and near personnel and structures, among other research initiatives.
“The Rocket Cargo Vanguard is a clear example of how the Space Force is developing innovative solutions as a service, in particular the ability to provide independent options in, from, and to space,” said Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner.
“Once realized, Rocket Cargo will fundamentally alter the rapid logistics landscape, connecting materiel to joint warfighters in a fraction of the time it takes today. In the event of a conflict or humanitarian crisis, the Space Force will be able to provide our national leadership with an independent option to achieve strategic objectives from space,” added Raymond.
Vanguard programs are part of the transformational science and technology component of the department’s 2030 Science and Technology Strategy. The other three Vanguard programs are Skyborg autonomy core system, NTS-3 flight experiment and the Golden Horde initiative.
If you're interested in the U.S. military's space technology procurement efforts, then check out the GovCon Wire's Space Acquisition Forum coming up on Sept. 14. To register for this virtual forum and view other upcoming events, visit the GCW Events page.