(a) In General.— There is within the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center of the Department of Defense a joint program office known as the Operationally Responsive Space Program Office (in this section referred to as the “Office”). The facilities of the Office may not be co-located with the headquarters facilities of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
(b) Head of Office.— The head of the Office shall be the designee of the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space. The head of the Office shall report to the Commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
(c) Mission.— The mission of the Office shall be—
(1)to contribute to the development of low-cost, rapid reaction payloads, busses, launch, and launch control capabilities in order to fulfill joint military operational requirements for on-demand space support and reconstitution; and
(2)to coordinate and execute operationally responsive space efforts across the Department of Defense with respect to planning, acquisition, and operations.
(d) Elements.— The Secretary of Defense shall select the elements of the Department of Defense to be included in the Office so as to contribute to the development of capabilities for operationally responsive space and to achieve a balanced representation of the military departments in the Office to ensure proper acknowledgment of joint considerations in the activities of the Office, except that the Office shall include the following:
(1)A science and technology element that shall pursue innovative approaches to the development of capabilities for operationally responsive space through basic and applied research focused on (but not limited to) payloads, bus, and launch equipment.
(2)An acquisition element that shall undertake the acquisition of systems necessary to integrate, sustain, and launch assets for operationally responsive space.
(3)An operations element that shall—
(A)sustain and maintain assets for operationally responsive space prior to launch;
(B)integrate and launch such assets; and
(C)operate such assets in orbit.
(4)A combatant command support element that shall serve as the primary intermediary between the military departments and the combatant commands in order to—
(A)ascertain the needs of the commanders of the combatant commands; and
(B)integrate operationally responsive space capabilities into—
(i)operations plans of the combatant commands;
(ii)techniques, tactics, and procedures of the military departments; and
(iii)military exercises, demonstrations, and war games.
(5)Such other elements as the Secretary of Defense may consider necessary.
(e) Acquisition Authority.— The acquisition activities of the Office shall be subject to the following:
(1)The Program Executive Officer for Space shall be the Acquisition Executive of the Office and shall provide streamlined acquisition authorities for projects of the Office.
(2)The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System process shall not apply to acquisitions by the Office for operational experimentation.
(3)The commander of the United States Strategic Command, or the designee of the commander, shall—
(A)validate all system requirements for systems to be acquired by the Office; and
(B)participate in the approval of any acquisition program initiated by the Office.
(4)To the maximum extent practicable, the procurement unit cost of a launch vehicle procured by the Office for launch to low earth orbit should not exceed $20,000,000 (in constant dollars).
(5)To the maximum extent practicable, the procurement unit cost of an integrated satellite procured by the Office should not exceed $40,000,000 (in constant dollars).
(f) Required Program Element.—
(1)The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that, within budget program elements for space programs of the Department of Defense, that—
(A)there is a separate, dedicated program element for operationally responsive space;
(B)to the extent applicable, relevant program elements should be consolidated into the program element required by subparagraph (A); and
(C)the Office executes its responsibilities through this program element.
(2)The Office shall manage the program element required by paragraph (1)(A).
(g) Executive Committee.—
(1)The Secretary of Defense shall establish for the Office an Executive Committee (to be known as the “Operationally Responsive Space Executive Committee”) to provide coordination, oversight, and approval of projects of the Office.
(2)The Executive Committee shall consist of the officials (and their duties) as follows:
(A)The Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space, who shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee and provide oversight, prioritization, coordination, and resources for the Office.
(B)The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, who shall provide coordination and oversight of the Office and recommend funding sources for programs of the Office that exceed the approved program baseline.
(C)The Commander of the United States Strategic Command, who shall validate requirements for systems to be acquired by the Office and participate in approval of any acquisition program initiated by the Office.
(D)The Commander of the Air Force Space Command, the Commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and the Commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, who shall jointly organize, train, and equip forces to support the acquisition programs of the Office.
(E)Such other officials (and their duties) as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
2006—Pub. L. 109–364amended section catchline and text generally, substituting provisions relating to establishment, control, mission, elements, and authority of the Operationally Responsive Space Program Office within the Department of Defense for provisions relating to requirement for a separate, dedicated program element for operationally responsive national security payloads and buses within budget program elements for space programs of the Department of Defense.
Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title IX, § 913(b),Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 2028, provided that: “Subsection (a) ofsection
2273a of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to fiscal years after fiscal year 2005.”
United States Policy on Operationally Responsive Space
Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title IX, § 913(a),Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2355, provided that: “It is the policy of the United States to demonstrate, acquire, and deploy an effective capability for operationally responsive space to support military users and operations from space, which shall consist of—
“(1) responsive satellite payloads and busses built to common technical standards;
“(2) low-cost space launch vehicles and supporting range operations that facilitate the timely launch and on-orbit operations of satellites;
“(3) responsive command and control capabilities; and
“(4) concepts of operations, tactics, techniques, and procedures that permit the use of responsive space assets for combat and military operations other than war.”
Joint Operationally Responsive Space Payload Technology Organization
Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title IX, § 913(a),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3408, which directed the Secretary of Defense to establish or designate an organization in the Department of Defense to coordinate joint operationally responsive space payload technology, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title IX, § 913(d),Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2358.
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