Congressional Report: Space Force Could Cost Billions More Than DoD Estimated


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Office David L. Norquist provide testimony on the fiscal 2020 Department of Defense budget before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Office David L. Norquist offer testimony about the financial 2020 Department of Defense budget before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

(Image: © DoD)

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new space organizations suggested by the Pentagon would need thousands of additional employees and cost several billion dollars greater compared to what DoD has proposed.

In a new report published on May 8, CBO lays out employees requirements and cost estimates for several proposed distance associations. The most contentious, an independent army branch for space, would add up to $1.3 billion a year in added costs — a number far higher compared to 500 million annually projected by DoD. A fresh military provider, also a combatant command plus also a Space Development Agency collectively would raise DoD’s cost up to $1.9 billion yearly.

The CBO report has been prepared at the request of the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, the report makes no recommendations,” CBO Director Keith Hall wrote.

Connected: What Is the U.S. Space Force?  

CBO calculated the price of five unique associations: a Space Force as a separate military division, a Space Force placed under the Air Force (exactly what DoD has proposed), a combatant command, a Space Development Agency plus a space policy directorate.

The Trump administration in the Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2020 seeks funding for three of the five options: a Space Force, U.S. Space Command plus a Space Development Agency. If these organizations, once fully recognized, were roughly exactly the identical size as the ones that CBO analyzed in this report, the administration’s proposal could require 5,700 to 9,700 new positions, increase DoD’s annual costs by $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion, and incur onetime expenses of $1.8 billion to $4.7 billion.

Related: Trump Signs Directive to Create a Military Space Force

CBO’s figures align nearer to your $13 billion five-year cost estimate for a Space Force and a Space Control set forth from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at September in a memo. Her figures were disregarded by Pentagon officials and Space Force proponents .

During a hearing on Wednesday of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stood with his previous statements the Space Force would cost no more than $2 million within five years. That number,”in my opinion, is overstated,” Shanahan told lawmakers.

CBO analysts agree with a number of lawmakers who questioned DoD’s proposal for lacking specifics about the scope and size of the Space Force, which makes it hard to figure out the long-term expenses. “The administration has provided few details about the 3 organizations it has suggested would look like or how large they’d be,” says the report. For 2020, the initial year of creating those associations, DoD has requested $306 million and 827 ranks, and it has also stated that it intends to have the new organizations fully running within five decades.

According to CBO, a new service in the Department of the Air Force would need 4,100 to 6,800 personnel and increase annual costs from $820 million to $1.3 billion. DoD has proposed a Space Force of approximately 15,000 people. CBO says employees would be required for overhead and management functions which are generally required to conduct a support\.

CBO estimated that roughly 23,000 fulltime positions within DoD are dedicated to space activities or support people who do, excluding space tasks in the intelligence agencies. Presently, 93 percent of those spots are in the Department of the Air Force.

Some current places in DoD will be moved to some other space organization and thus wouldn’t increase DoD’s overall costs but nevertheless congressional analysts believe additional individuals will be needed to team three new associations.

CBO’s analysis does not account for any new capacities; it includes only the cost of new administrative arrangements. It presumes that \positions transferred from existing services to a new organization would not be filled from the present services. If they had been, costs would rise\.

Also, CBO’s estimates of the extra costs of establishing a space company focus on management and overhead costs and do not include the expense of incorporating new capabilities. “In that sense, CBO’s estimates probably reflect the lower end of the variety of possible costs,” the report says.

Defense and funding analyst Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is cited in the report for a contributor. For incorporating costs for employees which may not be 18, However, the CBO accounts blasted.

“It presumes a larger overhead/management structure, adding 4,100 to 6,800 new personnel,” Harrison tweeted. His very own estimate was developed by harrison past fall into Wilson’s memo in a rebuttal.

“CBO came at the greater amount of new personnel in part because it presumed that no Air Force base operations, command, logistics, and healthcare employees currently support distance forces and consequently wouldn’t move to the new provider,” Harrison said. “Congress needs to make sure that the Air Force and other providers actually transfer all of the space-related headquarters and support employees to the new support. Otherwise, new folks need to get hired to perform the jobs of the people who don’t transfer over, and that is going to jack up the cost.”

This story was supplied by SpaceNews, devoted to covering all facets of the space industry.  

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