Index

Defense Acquisitions: Improvements Needed in Military Space Systems'
Planning and Education (Chapter Report, 05/18/2000, GAO/NSIAD-00-81).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of
Defense's (DOD) approach to implementing the U.S. Space Command's
long-range plan for expanding military space systems, focusing on the
extent to which: (1) plans for expanding military space systems conform
to national and defense space policies; (2) funding projections support
planned military space programs and desired capabilities; and (3)
actions are being taken to educate military personnel to support future
military space operations.

GAO noted that: (1) the U.S. Space Command's long-range plan and the Air
Force Space Command's supporting strategic master plan provide for the
protection of U.S. national interests and investments in space, but they
do not fully conform to DOD's new space policy; (2) the plans propose
space systems only and do not provide for an assessment of the
cost-effectiveness of terrestrial--land, sea, and air--systems as
alternatives to space systems, which is called for in DOD's policy; (3)
in addition, DOD lacks the modeling and simulation tools necessary to
perform such assessments, a capability that is also called for in DOD's
space policy; (4) it is unclear which DOD organization has the authority
and capability to perform comparative assessments between space and
terrestrial systems since such assessments are outside the purview of
the U.S. and Air Force Space Commands; (5) these factors prevent DOD
from being assured that the most cost-effective approaches will be
considered in making decisions on the expansion of space systems; (6)
the extent to which the Air Force's 18-year program projection supports
planned military space programs and desired capabilities was
unverifiable; (7) although several of the planned space systems, such as
a space-based radar and a space-based laser, are included in the Air
Force's program projection, cost estimates in the Air Force Space
Command's strategic master plan were not directly traceable to the
18-year program funding projections; (8) Air Force Space Command
representatives stated that they intend to institute changes to bring
about consistency between the documents; (9) DOD has not given
sufficient attention to providing military personnel with space
education to support future military space operations; (10) DOD's new
space policy requires that information about space force structure,
missions, capabilities, and applications be incorporated into
professional military education; (11) however, joint military doctrine
on space operations that is necessary to implement the policy has not
been issued because of disagreement among the services on the doctrine's
content; (12) leaving the disagreement unresolved hinders common
understanding for the use of space systems in military operations; and
(13) until the doctrine is provided, DOD and military service
educational institutions will lack guidance for the development of space
education curricula and for determining whether existing curricula need
to be modified.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-00-81
     TITLE:  Defense Acquisitions: Improvements Needed in Military
	     Space Systems' Planning and Education
      DATE:  05/18/2000
   SUBJECT:  Defense procurement
	     Military policies
	     Military training
	     Interagency relations
	     Strategic planning
	     Cost effectiveness analysis
	     Defense budgets
	     Future budget projections
	     Military satellites
	     Defense capabilities
IDENTIFIER:  Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
	     Airborne Warning and Control System
	     B-1 Aircraft
	     B-52 Aircraft

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GAO/NSIAD-00-81

4

14

Policies Contain Broad Guidelines for Expanding Military Space
Systems 15

Long-Range Plan Provides Vision for Expanding Military Space
Systems 16

Air Force Spends Most of the Defense Space Funds 17

Attention on DOD Space Management and Organization 19

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 21

24

Plans for Expanding Space Systems Do Not Fully Conform to DOD
Policy 24

Space Architect's Master Plan Will Not Fully Comply With DOD
Policy Guidelines 26

28

Extent of Air Force Funding Support for Planned Space Systems
Could Not Be Verified 28

Availability of Funds to Acquire Planned Space Systems Is Uncertain 29

33

Military Forces Still Depend on Temporary Space Support Teams 33

Policy on Space-Educated Force Is Formalized, but Doctrine Is Not
Issued 34

Space Education Curricula Varies 35

40

Conclusions 40

Recommendations 40

Agency Comments 41

Appendix I: Comments From the Department of Defense

44

Appendix II: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments

47

Table 1: Number of Space Support Teams' Activities From
August 1998 to August 1999 34

Table 2: DOD and Military Service Colleges and Schools and
Number of Solely Space-Related Courses or Lessons 37

Figure 1: Defense Space Funding for Fiscal Years 1994-2005 18

Figure 2: Air Force Space Funding Projections for Fiscal
Years 2000-17 30

DOD Department of Defense

GAO General Accounting Office

National Security and
International Affairs Division

B-281496

May 18, 2000

The Honorable Wayne Allard
Chairman
Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Committee on Armed Services

The Honorable Robert C. Smith
United States Senate

In response to a request from your subcommittee, this report discusses DOD's
approach to implementing the U.S. Space Command's long-range plan for
expanding military space systems in the 21st century. This report contains
recommendations to the Secretary of Defense.

We are sending copies of this report to Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator
Carl Levin, Senator Ted Stevens, Senator John W. Warner, Representative
Jerry Lewis, Representative John P. Murtha, Representative Ike Skelton, and
Representative Floyd D. Spence in their capacities as Chairs or Ranking
Minority Members of Senate and House Committees. We are also sending copies
of this report to the Honorable William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense; the
Honorable F. Whitten Peters, Secretary of the Air Force; the Honorable
Richard Danzig, Secretary of the Navy; the Honorable Louis Caldera,
Secretary of the Army; and the Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of
Management and Budget. Copies will be made available to others upon request.

Please call me at (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report. Major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix II.
Louis J. Rodrigues
Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues

Executive Summary

The increasing use of military and commercial satellite systems for national
security and business purposes will have significant implications for the
United States in the 21st century. The Department of Defense (DOD) has
traditionally used satellite systems in passive roles to support military
operations--for example, to collect intelligence data, warn of ballistic
missile launches, transmit voice and data communications, obtain
meteorological data, and provide navigation signals. Now, plans are being
developed to expand the use of military satellite systems and develop
technologies such as lasers and electronic jammers that could be used to
actively conduct combat operations from space. With advances in information
technology, the commercial use of satellites is also expanding, particularly
in telecommunications. In addition, single satellite systems--for example,
navigation, environmental, and imagery systems--that originally served
government missions, are increasingly providing capabilities to both
government and commercial users. The non-government applications are now
generating large amounts of commercial revenue. National space policy treats
U.S. satellite systems as national property that organizations have the
right to operate without deliberate interference. To the extent that such
interference were to occur, the U.S. Space Command visualizes that military
forces may be called upon to provide protection, just as navies protected
sea commerce and armies protected the nation's expansion westward during
earlier centuries.1

The Chairman, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Committee on Armed
Services, requested that GAO review DOD's approach to implementing the U.S.
Space Command's March 1998 long-range plan for expanding military space
systems. Specifically, GAO evaluated the extent to which (1) plans for
expanding military space systems conform to national and defense space
policies, (2) funding projections support planned military space programs
and desired capabilities, and (3) actions are being taken to educate
military personnel to support future military space operations.

In 1996, the President issued new national space policy that contained broad
guidelines for conducting national security (defense and intelligence) and
civil space activities and for supporting the expansion of commercial space
investments.2 In 1999, DOD revised its space policy, augmenting the defense
portion of the national space policy.3 Included among several topics in
DOD's policy are (1) a declaration that space--like land, sea, and air--is a
medium within which military activities shall be conducted to achieve
national security objectives; (2) planning guidelines requiring that desired
space systems be assessed against alternative terrestrial systems from a
cost-effectiveness viewpoint, using modeling and simulation tools to
demonstrate the desired space system's military worth; and (3) directions
for incorporating information about the structure, missions, capabilities,
and applications of space forces into professional military education.4
Together, the national and DOD space policies provide considerable latitude
for supporting military space systems and expanding them as the need arises.

The U.S. Space Command's 1998 long-range plan, which predates DOD's revised
policy, proposed a variety of new space systems through 2020, including a
space-based radar, space-based laser, space-based jammer, space-based data
relay, space maneuvering vehicle, and space operating vehicle. Many of the
technologies called for in the plan have not been developed; system costs
are uncertain; and potential system effectiveness will need to be assessed.
In addition, the long-range plan proposed that information about the use of
space systems be formally integrated into professional military education
curricula, where space would be designated a special area of emphasis at the
DOD and military services' colleges and schools. The educational focus would
be on how satellite systems enhance warfighting.

The U.S. Space Command depends on the military services to support its
long-range plan. Although the Command is responsible for establishing
operational requirements, the services' are responsible for satisfying these
requirements to the maximum extent practicable through their planning,
programming, and budget system.5 The Air Force is DOD's primary procurer and
operator of space systems, having received over 80 percent of defense space
funds during the last 6 years--averaging about $5 billion annually--and
expecting to receive an average of $6 billion annually during the next 6
years. Its subordinate command--the Air Force Space Command--prepares a
strategic master plan to support the U.S. Space Command's long-range plan.
The strategic master plan provides guidance for Air Force headquarters staff
to use in preparing an 18-year program projection, which contains all
programs the Air Force intends to pursue, including space programs.

During the past 6 years, DOD's management and organization of space programs
and activities have drawn increased attention. In 1994, DOD responded to
congressional concerns about the lack of a coherent national security space
management structure by consolidating certain space management functions
within a new Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space.
However, in 1998, under a defense reform initiative, DOD disestablished this
office and dispersed the management functions among existing DOD
offices--primarily the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications, and Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. DOD's organizational management of
space programs and activities remains an issue with the Congress. During
deliberations on the fiscal year 2000 defense budget, the Senate Committee
on Armed Services expressed concern about DOD's present ability to fully
exploit space for national security purposes. It stated that DOD approaches
space as an information medium to support existing land, sea, and air forces
rather than as a strategic location from which to project power. As a
result, in October 1999, the Congress authorized the establishment of a
space commission to assess a variety of space management and organization
issues out of concern about DOD's approach to these matters. Among several
duties of the commission are assessing (1) the potential costs and benefits
of establishing various space organizational structures; (2) the manner in
which military space assets may be exploited for military operations; and
(3) the manner in which military space issues are addressed in professional
military education institutions. The commission is to be organized in early
2000.6

The U.S. Space Command's long-range plan and the Air Force Space Command's
supporting strategic master plan provide for the protection of U.S. national
interests and investments in space, but they do not fully conform to DOD's
new space policy. The plans propose space systems only and do not provide
for an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of terrestrial--land, sea, and
air--systems as alternatives to space systems, which is called for in DOD's
policy. An example of such a comparative assessment would be between
satellite and aircraft radar systems. In addition, DOD lacks the modeling
and simulation tools necessary to perform such assessments, a capability
that is also called for in DOD's space policy. Finally, it is unclear which
DOD organization has the authority and capability to perform comparative
assessments between space and terrestrial systems since such assessments are
outside the purview of the U.S. and Air Force Space Commands. These factors
prevent DOD from being assured that the most cost-effective approaches will
be considered in making decisions on the expansion of space systems.

The extent to which the Air Force's 18-year program projection supports
planned military space programs and desired capabilities was unverifiable.
Although several of the planned space systems, such as a space-based radar
and a space-based laser, are included in the Air Force's program projection,
the cost estimates in the Air Force Space Command's strategic master plan
were not directly traceable to the 18-year program funding projections. They
were not traceable because the data were aggregated differently and program
nomenclatures differed. Air Force Space Command representatives stated that
they intend to institute changes to bring about consistency between the
documents. A more important matter is uncertainty about the availability of
several billions of dollars in funding increases that the Air Force has
projected for space system expansion. During the first 6 years of the
18-year projection (fiscal years 2000-05), programmed increases are
uncertain because the President and the Congress have not agreed on overall
funding increases to DOD. During the last 12 years of the projection (fiscal
years 2006-17), the Air Force relies on planned funding increases for
program modernization without identifying funding sources, thus creating
additional uncertainty and putting the expansion of space systems in
jeopardy for affordability reasons.

DOD has not given sufficient attention to providing military personnel with
space education to support future military space operations. DOD's new space
policy requires that information about space force structure, missions,
capabilities, and applications be incorporated into professional military
education. However, joint military doctrine on space operations that is
necessary to implement the policy has not been issued because of
disagreement among the services on the doctrine's content.7 Leaving the
disagreement unresolved hinders common understanding for the use of space
systems in military operations. In addition, until the doctrine is provided,
DOD and military service educational institutions will lack guidance for the
development of space education curricula and for determining whether
existing curricula need to be modified.

This report contains recommendations to the Secretary of Defense that would
(1) require space plans to include analyses of terrestrial systems as
alternatives, (2) establish the necessary modeling and simulation tools to
perform such analyses, (3) identify and/or establish the DOD office to
perform the analyses, (4) address the delay in completing joint doctrine for
space operations, and (5) provide the necessary instructions to DOD and
military service colleges and schools for incorporating essential space
information into professional military education curricula. DOD concurred
with our recommendations and provided comments.

The U.S. Space Command's long-range plan and the Air Force Space Command's
supporting strategic master plan propose to expand space systems to protect
U.S. national interests and investments in space. However, DOD's approach to
space planning is inadequate. Neither plan considered the use of
terrestrial--land, sea, and air--systems as alternatives to their proposed
space systems. DOD's 1999 space policy, which was published after the plans
were developed, calls for an objective assessment of space systems by
requiring the identification of missions, functions, and tasks that could be
performed more efficiently and effectively (meaning cost-effectively) by
space forces than by terrestrial alternatives.

In addition, DOD lacks the modeling and simulation tools that are necessary
to comparatively assess the efficiency and effectiveness of space systems
with plausible terrestrial system alternatives. The U.S. Space Command
states that this deficiency not only impairs its ability to effectively
plan, but also significantly affects its ability to articulate the benefits
of space systems. In DOD's 1999 space policy, modeling and simulation is a
requirement for demonstrating the military worth of space systems and their
application to mission accomplishment.

Finally, DOD has not identified the organization that should be responsible
for performing comparative assessments between space and alternative
terrestrial systems. The U.S. Space Command is not likely to be the
appropriate organization because it is DOD's primary proponent for space
systems. Similarly, the military services may not be ideally suited for this
role because the alternative terrestrial systems that should be considered
may not be within their purview. The Air Force, for example, may be able to
make trades between space and air systems, but may not be the appropriate
organization for making trades between space and land or sea system
alternatives.

These three matters--no analyses of terrestrial systems alternatives, no
modeling and simulation tools to perform such analyses, and no clearly
responsible organization to perform such analyses--may be of interest to the
space commission as it assesses the manner in which military space assets
may be exploited for military operations.

The Air Force's 18-year program projection for fiscal years 2000-17 provides
funding for several space programs that are contained in the U.S. Space
Command's long-range plan and the Air Force Space Command's supporting
strategic master plan. As the primary procurer of DOD space systems, the Air
Force has to balance the funding projections for planned space programs with
nonspace programs such as aircraft and missiles. Therefore, not all of the
space programs identified in the plans can be included in the 18-year
projection and particularly not at the level estimated by the Air Force
Space Command.

Additionally, the availability of the Air Force's projected funding is
uncertain, raising a question about the likelihood of planned space systems
being funded at the necessary level. For the 6 fiscal years within its
2000-05 future years defense program, DOD expects to receive increased funds
from the anticipated government budget surplus.8 However, DOD's prospects of
receiving an increase depend on the actual accumulation of surplus funds and
on an agreement between the President and the Congress about DOD sharing in
the surplus. In the event that such programmed funds are not received, the
requirements for these funds are likely to be shifted to later years,
creating an accumulated demand for funds known as a "bow wave." Such demand
raises the prospects that the planned space systems may not be affordable
and is therefore a source of risk in achieving system modernization.9

Adding to this uncertainty, the Air Force has projected an increase in funds
for modernization programs at the rate of 1.5 percent annually for the last
12 fiscal years of its program projection (2006-17). According to Air Force
officials, this approach allows for flexibility to introduce new programs
into the planning process without searching for alternative funding sources,
and it also reflects a need for additional obligation authority. Relying on
a projected increase adds to the uncertainty regarding the availability of
funds, which increases doubt about the affordability of space system
expansion.

The U.S. Space Command's 1998 long-range plan states that information about
the use of space systems should be designated a special area of emphasis in
professional military education because many military personnel
(commissioned officers) do not understand the importance of such systems to
military operations. Also, in 1998, the Joint Staff advised DOD and military
service postgraduate colleges and schools to emphasize information about
space because it had not been adequately included in professional military
education curricula. The emphasis that these colleges and schools have given
to space education varies. For example, Air Force and Navy colleges offer a
larger number of courses or lessons that are solely space-related than Army
and Marine Corps colleges offer.

DOD's 1999 space policy requires that space information be incorporated into
professional military education. However, joint military doctrine that would
provide the essential implementing guidelines for planning and conducting
operations using space forces has not been issued. An effort to develop such
doctrine has been ongoing for 10 years, but has not been completed because
of disagreement among the services about the doctrine's content. Without the
appropriate doctrinal guidance, there is insufficient assurance that the
proper space knowledge is being imparted to military officers. Progress
toward rectifying this matter may be of interest to the space commission as
it assesses the manner in which military space issues are addressed in
professional military educational institutions.

Meanwhile, DOD is still depending on space support teams to provide the
necessary information to military forces about the use of space systems. The
U.S. Space Command and the military services established these teams after
the 1991 Persian Gulf War to provide operational support, education, and
training to military forces. They were intended to be temporary until a
space-educated military force was in place.

To ensure that the most cost-effective decisions are made in regard to
planning and programming for space systems, GAO recommends that the
Secretary of Defense direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command,
Control, Communications, and Intelligence and, as appropriate, the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to (1)
require that plans in support of space systems include analyses of estimated
costs and potential effectiveness of plausible terrestrial--land, sea, and
air--systems as alternatives for performing the identified space missions,
functions, or tasks and (2) establish the means to develop and employ the
modeling and simulation tools necessary to perform comparative analyses of
space and terrestrial systems. Because the military services can only
analyze space and terrestrial systems that are within their organizational
purview, the Secretary should also identify and/or establish the proper
office, and provide the necessary authority, to perform such analyses for
decisionmakers on a DOD-wide basis.

To ensure that military personnel are adequately educated in the use of
space systems for military operations, GAO recommends that the Secretary of
Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to (1) address the
delay in completing joint doctrine for space operations by resolving
differences among the services and establishing a time frame for issuance
and (2) provide the necessary instructions to DOD and military service
colleges and schools for incorporating essential space information into
their professional military education curricula.

DOD provided written comments on a draft of this report, which appear in
appendix I. DOD concurred with GAO's recommendations.

Regarding the need to perform analyses of terrestrial alternatives in
planning for space systems, the use of modeling and simulation tools to aid
in the analyses, and the proper office to perform such analyses, DOD stated
that GAO's recommendations are, at least in principle, being implemented
through existing departmental procedures, specifically citing directions
within its acquisition management system. To the extent that DOD can
implement GAO's recommendations within its acquisition management system,
the results should be favorable. However, the evidence in this report
indicates that analyses of terrestrial alternatives in long-range space
planning has not been performed; modeling and simulation tools are deficient
for performing such analyses, and current efforts to acquire such tools are
limited because of funding constraints; and the organizational structure for
dealing with space as a medium for conducting military operations has not
been fully addressed. As a result, we believe our recommendations are still
valid and need to be directly addressed by DOD.

Regarding the need to provide adequate education of military personnel in
the use of space systems for military operations, DOD stated that a review
would be performed, under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, to provide guidance for essential space information that must be
present in professional military education and training.

Introduction

Increasing military and commercial use of, and dependence on, space systems
for national security and business purposes will have significant
implications for the United States in the 21st century. The Department of
Defense (DOD) has traditionally used satellites in passive roles to support
military operations--for example, to collect intelligence data, warn of
ballistic missile launches, transmit voice and data communications, obtain
meteorological data, and provide navigation signals. Now, plans are being
developed to expand the use of military satellite systems and develop
technologies (such as lasers and electronic jammers) that could be used to
actively conduct combat operations from space.

With advances in information technology, the commercial use of satellites is
also expanding, particularly in telecommunications, to transmit news,
financial transactions, and entertainment. A May 1999 forecast predicted
that between 2000 and 2010, more than 1,200 commercial satellites may be
launched.10 Also, government and commercial uses of single satellite systems
(such as navigation, environmental, and imagery systems) are converging,
where the original purpose was for government missions, nongovernment
applications are now generating large amounts of commercial revenue. For
example, according to the U.S. Space Command, nongovernment applications of
DOD's navigation satellite system--the Global Positioning System--will
generate $16 billion in commercial revenue by 2003.

National space policy treats U.S. satellite systems as national property
that organizations have the right to operate without deliberate
interference. To the extent that such interference were to occur, the U.S.
Space Command visualizes that military space forces may be called upon to
provide protection, just as navies protected sea commerce and armies
protected the nation's expansion westward during earlier centuries.
Excluding space programs for intelligence purposes, DOD has spent an annual
average of $5.9 billion on space programs and activities during the past 6
years, and it has programmed an annual average of $6.9 billion during the
next 6 years--a 17-percent increase primarily for modernization purposes.
Also, during the past 6 years, DOD management and organization of space
programs and activities have drawn increased attention from the Congress.
Recently, the Congress authorized the establishment of a space commission to
assess DOD's approach to national security space management and
organization.

Systems

In September 1996, the President issued new national space policy that
contained broad guidelines for conducting national security (defense and
intelligence) and civil space activities and for supporting the expansion of
commercial investments.11 For national security, the policy identified the
following key priorities: improving the United States' ability to support
military operations worldwide, monitoring and responding to strategic
military threats, and monitoring arms control and nonproliferation
agreements and activities. In addition, the policy stated that such space
activities are expected to (1) provide support for the United States' right
of self-defense; (2) deter, warn, and defend against enemy attack; (3)
ensure that hostile forces cannot prevent the United States' use of space;
and
(4) counter space systems used for hostile purposes. Also, the policy
provided that critical capabilities necessary for executing national
security space missions must be assured and that this requirement will be
considered and implemented at all stages of architecture and system
planning, development, acquisition, operation, and support.12

In July 1999, DOD revised its space policy that augments the defense portion
of the national space policy and established more specific guidelines for
the conduct of space activities by the military services.13 A major
objective for the revision was to address changes that have taken place
since DOD's previous space policy was issued in 1987 during the Cold War.
DOD identified some of these changes as (1) the transformation of the
international security environment, (2) the promulgation of new national
security and national military strategies, (3) an adjustment in the
resources allocated to national defense, (4) lessons learned from the
operational employment of space assets, (5) advances in military and
information technologies, and (6) growth of commercial space activities.
DOD's revised policy declares that space--like land, sea, and air--is a
medium within which military activities shall be conducted to achieve U.S.
national security objectives and that the ability to access and use space is
of vital national interest. According to the revised policy, U.S. space
systems are national property that organizations have the right to operate
in space without interference--deliberate interference being viewed as an
infringement on the nation's sovereign rights and justifying appropriate
self-defense measures, including the use of force.

DOD's revised policy also includes guidelines on (1) planning for space
activities, including assessing the cost-effectiveness of desired space
systems against terrestrial alternative systems; (2) translating operational
needs into programs where mission effectiveness would be enhanced by space
systems relative to other media, such as land, sea, and air; (3) using
modeling and simulation tools to demonstrate the desired space system's
military worth; and (4) incorporating information about space forces into
professional military education to provide appropriately educated and
trained personnel at all levels of joint and component military
organizations.14 Together, the national and DOD space policies provide
considerable latitude not only for supporting military space systems, but
also for expanding them as the need arises.

As DOD's focal point for military space operations, the U.S. Space Command
coordinates the use of Air Force, Navy, and Army space forces to perform
space missions, including launching and operating satellites and supporting
joint military forces with information from satellites. It also establishes
space requirements on behalf of DOD's unified commands. In March 1998, the
Command developed a long-range plan for expanding military space systems
into the 21st century. The plan, which extends to 2020, proposed a variety
of new space systems, such as a space-based radar, space-based laser,
space-based jammer, space-based data relay, space maneuvering vehicle, and
space operating vehicle. Many of the technologies called for in the plan
have not been developed; system costs are uncertain; and potential system
effectiveness will need to be assessed.

In developing the plan, the Command envisioned the growth of space power
during the next decade as being similar to the growth of air power during
the first half of the 20th century. During that period, military air power
evolved from a role of supporting land and sea operations to performing air
combat and then to strategically projecting force on a battlefield.
Similarly, military space systems have supported land, sea, and air
operations during the last 40 years, but the Command envisioned such systems
as moving toward a medium of warfare where combat operations would be
performed in space and where force would be projected from space to earth.
Also, the Command envisioned that space forces might be called upon to
protect the nation's increasing use of commercial space systems, just as
navies protected sea commerce and armies protected the nation's expansion
westward during earlier centuries.

The Command depends on the military services to support its long-range plan.
Although the Command has the responsibility for establishing operational
requirements, the services are responsible for satisfying the requirements
to the maximum extent practicable through their planning, programming, and
budgeting system.15 For example, within the Air Force, the Air Force Space
Command prepares a strategic master plan to support the long-range plan. The
strategic master plan provides program and budget guidance to Air Force
headquarters staff, who prepare an 18-year program projection that
establishes programs the Air Force intends to pursue, including space
programs.

Information from DOD's Office of the Comptroller shows that actual annual
funding of space programs and activities for fiscal years 1994-99 ranged
from $5.7 billion to $6.4 billion. For fiscal years 2000-05, annual defense
space funding is programmed to range from $6.0 billion to $7.1 billion. The
annual funding average for the past 6 years was $5.9 billion, and the
projected annual average for the ensuing 6 years is $6.9 billion. Thus, DOD
expects a total increase of about $6 billion for the next 6 years. Figure 1
shows the 6-year history and the 6-year projection.

Figure 1: Defense Space Funding for Fiscal Years 1994-2005
Note: Excludes space funding for intelligence programs.

Source: DOD's Office of the Comptroller.

The Air Force is DOD's primary procurer and operator of space systems, and
accordingly, it spends the largest share of defense space funds. For fiscal
years 1994-99, the Air Force's actual share averaged 83 percent of total
space funding, whereas the Navy, the Army, and other Defense agencies'
average shares were 9 percent, 6 percent, and 2 percent, respectively. For
fiscal years 2000-05, the Air Force's share averages
87 percent of total programmed space funding, reflecting increases for
satellite and launch vehicle modernization, whereas the Navy, the Army, and
other Defense agencies' average shares are 8 percent, 5 percent, and less
than 1 percent, respectively.

During the past 6 years, DOD's management and organization of space programs
and activities have drawn increased attention, and DOD took action to
reorganize on two separate occasions--in 1994, in response to congressional
concerns, and in 1998, under a defense reform initiative. In October 1999,
the Congress authorized the establishment of a commission to assess U.S.
national security space management and organization because of ongoing
concern about DOD's approach to these matters.16

Reorganization

In a 1994 report, we discussed congressional concerns about the lack of a
coherent management structure for national security space programs.17 In
response to these concerns, DOD established the Office of the Deputy Under
Secretary of Defense for Space to consolidate, in a single organization, all
existing Office of the Secretary of Defense responsibilities and functions
for space policy, architectures, and acquisition management. DOD finalized
its decision in 1995, establishing the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for
Space as the principal assistant and advisor for space matters. A priority
of the new office was to develop a national security space master plan to
coordinate and implement the policies and operational concepts that would be
pursued into the 21st century. However, according to DOD officials, the
master plan was not completed because a consensus could not be reached among
space proponents about conclusions and recommendations. Instead, an
agreement was reached on long-range planning objectives to guide the
development of future space plans.

Also in 1995, DOD established an Office of the Space Architect to
consolidate within a single organization the responsibilities for developing
space architectures across the range of DOD space mission areas. The purpose
was to achieve efficiencies in acquisition and future operations through
program integration. The Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space was to
provide policy guidance and oversight to the Architect for the development
of integrated space architectures. Such proposed architectures were to be
submitted to the Defense Acquisition Executive (who is also the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) for
approval.

Reorganization

In 1998, as part of an overall defense reform initiative, DOD disestablished
the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space. As a result,
the policy, architectures, and acquisition management responsibilities of
the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space were dispersed to other
offices within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Specifically, the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and
Intelligence now (1) serves as the principal staff assistant and advisor for
space matters, (2) develops and oversees the implementation of space
policies in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and
(3) oversees the development and execution of space architectures and
acquisitions, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, who serves as the acquisition
executive for major defense acquisition programs and technology development.

Also in 1998, the functions of the Office of the DOD Space Architect and
architectural elements of the National Reconnaissance Office were
consolidated into a new Office of the National Security Space Architect. In
a memorandum of understanding between the Secretary of Defense and the
Director of Central Intelligence, the new architect was given responsibility
for developing and integrating mid- and long-term space architectures across
the range of DOD and intelligence community mission areas. This included
further development of the national security space master plan that had been
initiated by the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space under the
previous reorganization. The new architect reports to the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence
and to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

In 1999, during deliberations on the fiscal year 2000 defense budget, the
Senate Committee on Armed Services expressed concern about DOD's present
ability to fully exploit space for national security purposes. The Committee
believed that DOD approaches space as an information medium to support
existing land, sea, and air forces rather than as a strategic location from
which to project power. As a result, the Committee concluded that an
independent commission of experts would be better suited than DOD to look
beyond existing programs, policies, and organizational structures for
opportunities to enhance national security through a more complete use of
space for military purposes. In the National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2000, the Congress authorized the establishment of a space
commission to assess a variety of management and organization issues,
including assessing (1) the potential costs and benefits of establishing
various space organizational structures, (2) the manner in which military
space assets may be exploited for military operations, and (3) the manner in
which military space issues are addressed in professional military education
institutions. The commission is to be organized in 2000.

The Chairman, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Committee on Armed
Services, expressed an interest in how military space strategy would evolve
under the U.S. Space Command's long-range plan for expanding military space
systems in the 21st century. Factors affecting the question were that (1)
commercial dependence on space systems is increasing, (2) the military
services have program and budget responsibilities for acquiring DOD space
systems, and (3) a cadre of trained personnel would be essential to execute
the strategy envisioned in the plan. In this context, the Chairman requested
that we review DOD's approach to implementing the Command's long-range plan.
As agreed, we evaluated the extent to which (1) plans for expanding military
space systems conform to national and defense space policies, (2) funding
projections support planned military space programs and desired
capabilities, and (3) actions are being taken to educate military personnel
to support future military space operations.

The scope of our evaluation included the U.S. Space Command's March 1998
long-range plan; Air Force Space Command's supporting March 1998 strategic
master plan; 1996 national space policy; and DOD's 1999 space policy.
Although the two plans were published prior to the issuance of DOD's 1999
space policy, we considered the new policy important because of its
comprehensive content and relevance to planning for future space systems.
DOD's previous 1987 space policy, which was superseded, did not contain an
equivalent degree of detailed guidance. Our scope also included the Air
Force's fiscal year 2000-17 program projection, which is an 18-year near-,
mid-, and long-term programming and planning document that allocates funds
and indicates the direction that the Air Force intends to pursue. We
concentrated on the Air Force's funding projection because the Air Force
spends over 80 percent of the space funds for national defense. Finally, our
scope included information on curricula at military colleges and schools to
provide commissioned officers with instruction about space systems and their
application to military operations.

To acquire information about planned space systems and supporting funding
projections, we reviewed space plans and cost estimates at the U.S. and Air
Force Space Commands, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and funding projections at
Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C. We also reviewed national and DOD
space policies. The U.S. Space Command's long-range plan did not contain
funding estimates needed for implementation; therefore, we made a comparison
of the content between this plan and the Air Force Space Command's
supporting strategic master plan. Although the strategic master plan did
contain cost estimates, they were not traceable to the Air Force's program
funding projections. Thus, we made a comparison of the content between the
strategic master plan and the Air Force's 18-year program projection. To
gain additional understanding regarding the space plans and funding
estimates, we held discussions with, and obtained documentation from,
representatives of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence, and the Joint Staff,
Washington, D.C.; the Office of the National Security Space Architect,
Alexandria, Virginia; the Army Space Command, Colorado Springs, Colorado;
the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Arlington, Virginia; the Naval
Space Command, Dahlgren, Virginia; and the Naval Space Command Detachment,
Colorado Springs, Colorado.

To acquire information about space education for military personnel, we
reviewed Joint Chiefs of Staff curricula guidance, draft joint space
operations doctrine, military service space master plans, military college
curricula, and briefings from military service space support teams. We
focused on space education--the general goal of which is to provide an
understanding of concepts on how space systems are used in military
operations. We did not assess space training--the general goal of which is
to teach personnel how to perform tasks such as using equipment to retrieve
satellite data--because it would have involved a more extensive scope of
work. We held discussions with, and acquired information from,
representatives of DOD, Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps colleges and
schools. We also acquired information from the Air Force's Space Warfare
Center, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and the Army Space and Missile
Defense Command's Force Development and Integration Center, Arlington,
Virginia.

We performed our review from December 1998 through November 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Inadequacies in Space Planning

The U.S. Space Command's long-range plan and the Air Force Space Command's
supporting plan propose expanding military space systems to protect U.S.
national interests and investments in space. These plans do not fully
conform with DOD's new space policy because they do not provide for an
assessment of the cost-effectiveness of terrestrial--land, sea, and
air--systems as alternatives to space systems. The National Security Space
Architect's latest planning effort also will not consider the cost-
effectiveness of terrestrial system alternatives. In addition, DOD lacks the
analytical tools needed to assess such alternatives. As a result of these
planning inadequacies, DOD cannot be assured that the most cost-effective
approaches will be considered in making decisions on the expansion of space
systems.

As space system proponents, the U.S. Space Command and the Air Force Space
Command focused on space system solutions only in their respective 1998
long-range plan and strategic master plan. DOD's 1999 space policy requires
comparative assessments of space and terrestrial alternatives--the purpose
being to determine whether missions, functions, and tasks can be performed
more efficiently and effectively, meaning more cost-effectively, by space
systems than plausible terrestrial systems. Although the plans were
developed before the policy was issued, the policy provides sound planning
guidance for making acquisition decisions. U.S. Space Command officials
stated that because the long-range plan was designed to identify future
capabilities, such comparative assessments were not performed to determine
whether the plan was an efficient and effective use of resources. However,
they acknowledged that before efforts are made to implement the plan, such
analyses should be performed.

An example of where a cost-effectiveness analysis would be critical is in
comparing the planned space-based radar system with two aircraft radar
systems--all of which look for moving targets. The planned space-based radar
system would include a constellation of satellites to detect and track
moving targets on the earth's surface, produce high-resolution imagery, and
collect precision digital terrain elevation data. DOD's Joint Surveillance
Target Attack Radar System is a fleet of modified commercial aircraft that
perform ground surveillance of an enemy's situation and supports military
attack operations. DOD's Airborne Warning and Control System is a fleet of
modified commercial aircraft that collects position and tracking data on
enemy aircraft and ships and on the location and status of friendly aircraft
and naval vessels. Another example deserving of a cost-effectiveness
analysis would be between satellite and airborne laser systems that are
expected to destroy ballistic missiles in flight. The planned space-based
laser system would include a constellation of satellites, and the airborne
laser system would include a fleet of modified commercial aircraft.

In a 1998 RAND report that dealt with the influence of military and economic
space power on national security strategy and the conduct of future military
operations, the radar systems were cited as an example of where a trade-off
assessment was necessary.18 The report indicated that the assessment should
compare the benefit of avoiding the costs of maintaining aircraft and crews
by moving the airborne capabilities to space with the risk associated with
ensuring a survivable space system, particularly considering the space
system's cost of development and deployment. The Air Force Scientific
Advisory Board also discussed the radar example in a 1998 report.19 However,
the Board stated that DOD has a limited ability to balance capabilities and
requirements across space, airborne, and surface elements; for example, it
does not have an integrated system-of-systems perspective or the means to do
objective, meaningful trade-off analyses among these elements. Also, it is
unclear what organization in DOD should perform such analyses. The U.S.
Space Command may not be the appropriate organization because it is DOD's
proponent for space systems. Also, the military services may not be ideally
suited for this role because the plausible alternative terrestrial systems
may not be within their purview. For example, it may not be fitting for the
Air Force to perform trade-off analyses between space and land
communications systems.

DOD's space policy calls for the use of modeling and simulation to
demonstrate the military worth of space systems to be acquired. However, DOD
representatives informed us that most DOD modeling and simulation tools are
deficient in considering alternative systems within single functions and
missions. Examples are an inability to perform assessments between (1)
military and commercial satellite systems and terrestrial systems for the
communications function and (2) satellites and manned and unmanned aircraft
for reconnaissance missions. The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board
reported this limitation in analytical capability in its 1998 report
concerning the characteristics and effectiveness of air and space systems.
The Board recommended that emerging or updated models accurately portray the
characteristics and effectiveness of air and space systems. Without
appropriate modeling and simulation tools, DOD officials will not be
adequately equipped to make informed acquisition decisions.

U.S. Space Command officials informed us that they recently identified the
development of modeling and simulation capabilities as a high priority.
Also, Air Force officials informed us that they are (1) developing a model,
known as the "National Air and Space Warfare Model," to integrate
applications of air and space systems to perform analyses of alternatives
and (2) undertaking additional initiatives to develop analytical
capabilities for comparisons among air, ground, and space systems. In
addition, U.S. Space Command officials stated that DOD is taking action to
improve modeling and simulation capabilities by developing the "Joint
Warfare System" to provide a balanced representation of joint theater
warfare. Although the first version of this simulation is to be available in
2002, it will not contain a robust space modeling capability due to funding
constraints.

Guidelines

As discussed in chapter 1, DOD's most recent realignment of space management
responsibilities included reorganizing space architect functions. One
responsibility of the Office of the National Security Space Architect is to
further develop the national security space master plan, and an effort to
integrate various space plans into the master plan was initiated in November
1998. This effort included reviewing the U.S. Space Command's long-range
plan and the Air Force Space Command's strategic master plan. Architect
officials informed us that the various space plans they reviewed may have
been useful to the respective organizations that developed them, but the
plans did not satisfy the need for an integrated space plan. The current
schedule shows that work on the content and structure of the national
security space master plan will continue until 2001. When this master plan
is completed, the expectation is that it will be a single, consolidated
space architecture that uses data from multiple DOD and intelligence space
components.

However, according to an Architect official, the national security space
master plan will be limited to space systems only and will not provide for
comparative cost-effectiveness analyses of land, sea, and air systems. An
important aspect of DOD's 1999 space policy is long-range planning that
includes developing an integrated national security space architecture, with
the purpose of identifying the most efficient and effective balance of
space, land, sea, and air systems to minimize unnecessary duplication of
systems within missions and functions. To objectively assess the merits of
both space and terrestrial capabilities within specific missions and
functions, and to make prudent acquisition decisions within a fiscally
constrained environment, a broader assessment to include terrestrial
alternatives is essential. If the Architect's office is not organizationally
structured to perform such broad assessments, DOD may have to consider
changes to accommodate this critical need.

Affordability of Planned Space Systems Is Questionable

The Air Force has the primary responsibility for acquiring most of DOD's
space systems, and it spends over 80 percent of the funds that DOD annually
budgets for space programs and activities. The Air Force's 18-year program
projection includes funding for key space systems identified in the U.S.
Space Command's long-range plan. However, we could not verify the extent to
which the funding projection supported the plan because estimated costs
provided by the Air Force Space Command were not directly traceable to the
Air Force's program projection. More importantly, the Air Force's program
projection anticipates several billions of dollars in funding increases for
space programs during fiscal years 2000-17. However, the availability of
such increases are uncertain because their source
(1) primarily depends on the actual accumulation of the anticipated
government budget surplus and DOD receiving a share of that surplus (on
which there is no agreement between the President and the Congress) and (2)
is based, in part, on an expectation that a larger share of future DOD
budgets would be allocated to space programs. These uncertainties put into
question the affordability of planned space systems.

Not Be Verified

The U.S. Space Command's long-range plan does not contain estimated costs
for acquiring its planned space systems. However, the Air Force Space
Command's supporting strategic master plan does contain an estimate of $177
billion for the planned systems for the 21-year fiscal year period 2000-20.
The strategic master plan is the Air Force's first step in supporting the
long-range plan and is developed for use in the Air Force's planning,
programming, and budgeting process. However, the strategic master plan
expresses doubt about the Air Force's ability to fund the planned systems,
stating that the estimated costs contain significant increases in future
years at a time when no fiscal growth can be expected in Air Force budgets.
To illustrate this potential funding difficulty, the plan stated that to
acquire the planned systems, space funding requirements would need to
increase to about 20 percent of the Air Force's total obligation authority
by 2011, compared to about 9 percent in 1998.

The next step in the Air Force's process is the development by headquarters
staff of an 18-year program projection that includes space program
priorities and funding that the Air Force has adopted as part of its overall
program. The staff uses the strategic master plan as guidance, together with
plans from other subordinate commands, to make decisions on space, aircraft,
and missile programs. However, we found that the data in the strategic
master plan were not directly traceable to the Air Force's program
projection because (1) funding data in the plan were too aggregated for
comparison purposes and did not correlate with funding data in the program
projection and (2) different program nomenclatures were used.

In addition, Air Force headquarters officials stated that not all of the
space programs contained in the strategic master plan can be included in the
18-year program projection, and specifically not at the funding levels that
may be needed to fully support a given program. We did, however, determine
that the Air Force included several planned systems in its program
projection that were also contained in the strategic master plan and the
long-range plan. Examples were a space-based radar, space-based laser,
space-based data relay, space operating vehicle, and space maneuvering
vehicle.

According to U.S. Space Command officials, a priority of the Command is to
develop an automated database to track implementation of the long-range
plan. Also, Air Force Space Command representatives informed us that they
intended to institute a change to make its strategic master plan fiscally
consistent with the Air Force's program projection. However, until this
adjustment is made, the U.S. Space Command will be unable to determine the
extent to which the Air Force is funding programs contained in the
long-range plan.

Within the Air Force's 18-year program projection for fiscal years 2000-17,
the first 6 years represent a near-term commitment of resources to programs
that are part of DOD's fiscal year 2000 future years defense program.20 The
last 12 years represent mid-term and long-term planning estimates. For the
near-term (fiscal years 2000-05) space programs, annual funding averages
$8.5 billion. For the mid-term (fiscal years 2006-11) and long-term (fiscal
years 2012-17) space programs, annual projected funding averages $10.2
billion and $12.8 billion, respectively. Thus, the mid-term period increases
by a total of $10.2 billion over the near-term period. The long-term period
increases by a total of $15.6 billion over the mid-term period. Figure 2
shows the space funding contained in the 18-year plan.

Figure 2: Air Force Space Funding Projections for Fiscal Years 2000-17
Notes: For fiscal years 2000-05, the Air Force's annual programmed amounts
of space funding shown in figure 2 are not comparable with the annual
programmed amounts shown in figure 1. A primary reason is that the Air Force
and DOD's Office of the Comptroller define space programs differently. In
figure 2, the Air Force includes in space funds, intercontinental ballistic
missiles, and certain science and technology programs that may have both air
and space applications, whereas in figure 1, the DOD Office of the
Comptroller does not. Also, figure 2 is in constant fiscal year 1999
dollars, whereas
figure 1 is in then-year dollars. Despite these differences, the overall
18-year program projection by itself provides an indication of the Air
Force's space system funding plans.

Excludes space funding for intelligence programs.

Source: Air Force Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and
Programs.

The Air Force may have difficulty funding its modernization programs in the
near-term period because DOD may not receive all the funds that it expects
for its fiscal year 2000 future years defense program. DOD plans on
receiving increased funding for its 2000 program primarily from a share of
the anticipated government budget surplus. However, the prospects for
funding from this source are uncertain because (1) the surplus is contingent
on continued economic growth, (2) an allocation to DOD is contingent on
legislative agreements that address the financial soundness of the Social
Security program, and (3) the President and the Congress have not agreed on
how much of the surplus to use for increasing DOD's overall annual funding
or how much of any increase would go to the Air Force for space programs.

To the extent that DOD's planned increase in funds in the near-term period
do not materialize, the Air Force's anticipated increase in procurement
funds for modernization beyond the near-term period might not be realized.
DOD has had difficulty in recent years obtaining planned increases in
near-term procurement funding because it has had to move those funds to
other priorities, such as military readiness. Such movement of funds has
resulted in shifting modernization requirements beyond the near-term period.
This creates a so-called "bow wave" of demand for procurement funds in later
years and is a source of risk to the long-term affordability of DOD's
modernization programs. We discussed these matters in prior reports.21

According to Air Force officials, the program projection assumes that
funding for space, aircraft, and missile modernization programs in the mid-
and long-term periods will increase at the rate of 1.5 percent annually. The
officials stated that this assumption is appropriate because it provides for
flexibility to introduce new programs into the planning process without
having to search for additional funding sources. They also stated that
(1) the projection demonstrates a need for additional obligation authority
and (2) if the mid- and long-term periods were based on current funding
levels, the acquisition of new systems would probably not be feasible.

Air Force officials stated that a larger portion of the DOD budget should be
allocated for space programs, given the increased importance of space to
military operations. They also stated that space and nonspace systems in the
program projection should not be traded against each other in order to
reduce projected funding levels. However, in the Air Force Scientific
Advisory Board's 1998 report, the Board discussed difficulties the Air Force
may have in meeting its aerospace force obligations in future years,
suggesting that an unprecedented emphasis must be placed on affordability.
Because the Board did not foresee an increase in funding to finance new
space capabilities, it suggested that the Air Force consider moving planned
funds internally from its nonspace programs to space programs and realign
its fiscal priorities by eliminating missions not unique to the military.
The Board stated that there are multiple opportunities for the Air Force to
become more efficient, to terminate less-effective programs, and to transfer
functions that are not essential parts of the Air Force mission to other
agencies. Examples suggested by the Board included moving military satellite
launches to commercial launch providers and implementing commercial
practices and other improvements to satellite operations and tracking.

Insufficient Attention to Space Education

DOD states that the importance of space-based systems and the need for a
space-educated force to support military operations were documented during
the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Military forces still depend on temporary space
support teams established at the end of the war to provide needed expertise
on the use of space systems. DOD recently emphasized space education as a
priority in its 1999 space policy, establishing a need to incorporate
information about space applications and capabilities into professional
military education. However, joint doctrine on space operations that
contains fundamental principles to guide the employment of forces has not
been issued. In addition, the degree to which DOD and the military services
have established space education curricula in their postgraduate colleges
and schools has varied. These weaknesses require that additional attention
be placed on space education to ensure efficient and effective use of space
systems in military operations.

According to DOD, the 1991 Persian Gulf War was the first military conflict
in history to make comprehensive use of space systems. Satellites were used
to provide communications, missile attack warning, navigation signals, and
weather and imagery data. However, significant effort was required to
optimize satellite effectiveness because, in part, military forces lacked
the expertise to fully exploit the capabilities that satellite systems
provide. After the war, the U.S. Space Command and the military services'
space commands established space support teams to provide operational
support, education, and training to military forces. Representatives from
these space commands informed us that the teams were expected to be a
temporary solution and were to be disbanded when a space-educated force was
developed. In commenting on our draft report, however, DOD stated that the
Army does not have plans to disband their teams because such teams are still
needed to support contingency operations. Thus, today the teams are still
supporting military operations and exercises and providing education and
training--more than 8 years after the conclusion of the war.

Space support teams are normally deployed with two to five members for
periods of 1 week to 1 month when requested by theater commanders or other
senior military leaders. For example, in 1999 during military operations in
Kosovo, joint space teams coordinated the use of space-based assets and
provided guidance to U.S. and allied commanders in Europe. Also, an Air
Force space support team collected terrain imagery data, making it available
to B-1 and B-52 bomber crews for strike missions. In 1999, for operations in
Bosnia, Army space support teams provided satellite information for
situational awareness, targeting, and mission rehearsals that included
imagery products, weather information, and the effect of solar flare events
on terrestrial systems. Also, Naval space support teams provided
instructions to naval forces about space capabilities and how to use them
during predeployment planning for operations, exercises, and training.
According to U.S. Space Command and military service records, the space
support teams were used 182 times during a 13-month period, from August 1998
to August 1999. Details are shown in table 1.

Table 1: Number of Space Support Teams' Activities From August 1998 to
August 1999

 Space support team                 Type of activity
                    Operations  Exercises  Education  Training Total
 Joint              3           7          7          1        18
 Air Force          16          10         52         11       89
 Army               3           28         9          16       56
 Naval              3           5          5          6        19
 Total              25          50         73         34       182

Source: GAO analysis of space support team records.

Several military space officials informed us that when forces become more
space-capable and confident in their ability to request, task, and access
space-derived information, the temporary support teams will be disbanded.

Issued

The U.S. Space Command's March 1998 long-range plan recommended that
information on space applications and capabilities be designated a special
area of emphasis in professional military education curricula. The plan
reported that such space information was not fully integrated into the
curricula and that many military forces do not understand the importance of
space systems to military operations. The Command's goal is to integrate
space information into core curricula on how space systems affect strategic
and tactical warfighting. However, the military services are responsible for
implementing this goal.

DOD formally recognized the need to develop a space-capable force with the
issuance of its 1999 space policy. In terms of guidelines for space
operations, the policy states that information about structure, missions,
capabilities, and applications of space forces shall be incorporated into
professional military education, as well as into joint and service training
and exercises, to provide appropriately educated and trained personnel at
all levels of joint and component military organizations. In his memorandum
that accompanied the policy, the Secretary of Defense stated that a
space-literate military with the necessary understanding of space operations
and the ability to exploit space applications fully is critical to achieve
national security objectives. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is
responsible for developing joint doctrine for the operation and employment
of space systems, formulating policies for joint space training, and
coordinating space military education and training for members of the armed
forces.

In 1990, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued directions to the U.S. Space
Command to develop joint doctrine for space operations.22 The intent of the
publication is to establish a framework for the use of space capabilities
and integrate them into joint military operations; however, the publication
has been in draft for several years and had not been issued as of January
31, 2000. According to space officials, the reason for the extended
development time is the lack of agreement among the services on how today's
space capabilities are to be used during military operations. For example,
during the last coordination effort in 1999, the Command received almost 300
comments from the Air Force, nearly half of which were considered
significant enough to require major revision to the doctrine. Space
officials stated that this doctrine is needed to address DOD space policy
regarding the integration of space into military operations and to assist
educators in developing space education curricula. We were informed that
issuing the doctrine could take another year.

The National Defense University and the military services' postgraduate
colleges and schools provide defense-related instruction and professional
education to selected military officers and civilian government officials of
the United States.23 These educational institutions include national
security policy and strategy, resource management, and joint warfighting in
their curricula. In July 1998, the Joint Staff issued guidance to the
university and the military services that identified space applications and
capabilities as an area that had not been adequately emphasized in
professional military education curricula. The guidance was advisory and did
not require that such space information be included in the curricula, but it
stated that warfighters must know the full potential of current and future
space systems. The degree to which the university and the military services'
postgraduate colleges and schools have incorporated space information into
their curricula has varied, and these institutions lack criteria to
determine how much space information to incorporate into their curricula.

Table 2 identifies the prominent DOD and military service colleges and
schools that provide commissioned officers with postgraduate education and
the number of courses or lessons provided by each institution that are
solely space-related. In several cases, however, the educational
institutions include space information as a part of the content in courses
or lessons that deal primarily with other subject matter. Overall, the
courses and lessons identified in the table are not comparable because the
length of curricula and the number of instructional hours vary.

Table 2: DOD and Military Service Colleges and Schools and Number of Solely
Space-Related Courses or Lessons

                                             Core space     Elective space
 Organization      College or school         courses or     courses or
                                             lessons        lessons

 National Defense  Industrial College of the
 University        Armed Forces, Washington, 1              1
                   D.C.
                   Armed Forces Staff
                   College, Norfolk,         0              2
                   Virginia

                   National War College,     0              1
                   Washington, D.C.
                   Squadron Officer School,
 Air Force         Maxwell Air Force Base,   0              0
                   Alabama
                   Air Command and Staff
                   College, Maxwell Air      4              1
                   Force Base, Alabama

                   Air War College, Maxwell  14             3
                   Air Force Base, Alabama
                   Naval Postgraduate
 Navy              School, Monterey,         7              0
                   California

                   Naval War College,        0              1
                   Newport, Rhode Island
                   Army Command and General
 Army              Staff College, Fort       0              2
                   Leavenworth, Kansas

                   Army War College,         0              1
                   Carlisle, Pennsylvania
                   Marine Corps Command and
 Marine Corps      Staff College, Quantico,  0              0
                   Virginia

                   Marine Corps War College, 0              0
                   Quantico, Virginia

Note: Core courses or lessons are required for students to complete a
particular educational program, and elective courses or lessons provide
options to broaden students' understanding of the program under study. The
Air Force uses the term "lessons" in its curricula as opposed to the formal
"course" designation used by other colleges and schools.

Source: College or school curriculum officials.

Within the National Defense University, the Industrial College of the Armed
Forces' curriculum places special emphasis on material acquisition and
logistics. A college official stated that because of this focus, space is
primarily examined from an industrial viewpoint, with a core course called
the "Industry Studies Program." Officials at the Armed Forces Staff College
stated that the three schools within the college focus their academic
programs on joint and multinational defense matters. An elective course
called "Focus Studies" is offered at one of the schools, providing students
an opportunity to study a unified command such as U.S. Space Command. A
National War College official informed us that within the past 2 years, the
college's elective curriculum was modified in recognition that space
operations have become an increasingly important component of military
operations. The elective course offered is "National Space Policy and
Strategy."

The Air Force's Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, includes
three colleges and schools that provide professional military education. For
junior officers, the Squadron Officer School provides lessons that contain
space content, but it does not provide courses that are entirely
space-related because the school focuses primarily on leadership, values,
and supervision. For intermediate-level officers, the Air Command and Staff
College's curriculum contains several space lessons--examples being "Space
in Joint Air Operations Planning" and "Space Assets and Their Impact to the
Warfighter." Similarly, for senior-level officers, the Air War College
offers a range of lessons that focus entirely on space information--examples
being "Future Space Architecture--DOD," "U.S. Air Force Core Competency of
Space Superiority," and instructions on military, civil, and commercial
space systems. A university official told us that space information has been
integrated into lessons with greater frequency, but that more still needs to
be done.

In addition to the lessons provided within the Air University, the Air Force
offers a recently developed "Aerospace Basic Course" for newly commissioned
officers to provide a common understanding of air and space power. Air Force
officials also stated that the Space Warfare Center in Colorado offers
advanced education and training for military service personnel, DOD
civilians, and federally funded research and development contractors. The
instruction is directed toward the effective integration of space
capabilities into military operations, including the exploitation of
defense, intelligence, civil, and commercial space systems. Five courses
include advanced education and training oriented toward key personnel who
are directly responsible for efforts to integrate space capabilities into
combat operations.

According to a Naval Space Command official, the Navy has a strong interest
in ensuring that its military officers develop expertise and knowledge on
space issues. The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, offers
several courses in its space systems operations program that are solely
space-related--examples being "Space Systems and Operations," "Space
Technology and Applications," and "Military Space Systems and
Architectures." At the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, the Navy
offers an elective course on "Space Policy and Operations." According to a
college official, contemporary space system planning is adequately covered
in the core curriculum.

Although there are currently no core courses in the Army's colleges, the
Army Space Master Plan calls for incorporating space into its professional
military education curriculum in accordance with time frames established in
the U.S. Space Command's long-range plan. In commenting on our draft report,
DOD stated that the Army has developed a curriculum that addresses space
operations, but that materials have not been integrated into officer basic
and advanced courses. In the interim, the Army's two main colleges have
incorporated space information into their elective professional military
education curricula. For mid-grade officers, the Army Command and General
Staff College provides a "Space Orientation Course" and a "Space Operations
Course." For senior officers, the Army War College offers an elective course
on "Military Space Operations."

Presently, within the Marine Corps University, the curricula at the Command
and Staff College and War College at Quantico, Virginia, do not contain
specific space education courses. However, at the Command and Staff College,
speakers have been invited from the U.S. and Air Force space commands to
address students taking courses with space content. At the War College, a
course on "National Security and Joint Warfare" focuses on a war game to
provide students the opportunity to apply space principles and concepts
learned during the academic year. In addition, according to a War College
official, students are taken on 2-day visits to the U.S. Space Command in
Colorado. According to a University official, an education master plan is
being drafted that will place an increased emphasis on space-based
capabilities and their effect on the conduct of naval and military
operations.

Conclusions, Recommendations, and Agency Comments

DOD spends billions of dollars annually on military space programs;
long-range plans have been developed to expand the use of military space
systems, requiring significant increases in funds; and government policy
provides considerable latitude for expanding military space systems.
However, existing plans do not contain provisions to perform comparative
assessments of plausible terrestrial--land, sea, and air--alternatives to
acquiring space systems. Also, the necessary modeling and simulation tools
are not available to permit objective analyses of such alternatives. As a
result of these deficiencies, DOD cannot be assured that the most
cost-effective system acquisition decisions will be made to accomplish a
given mission. Implementing DOD's current space policy regarding comparative
assessments and using modeling and simulation tools is critical because the
uncertainty associated with the availability of projected funding increases
puts into question the affordability of expanding planned space systems as
envisioned by the U.S. Space Command. Additionally, DOD will be hampered in
making assessments among space and terrestrial systems until it designates
an office and provides the office with the authority to perform the
assessments for decisionmakers.

DOD's increasing dependence on space systems for military operations makes
it imperative that military personnel are appropriately educated about space
system applications and capabilities; otherwise, such high-cost systems are
not likely to be efficiently and effectively used. DOD's current space
policy provides sound guidance regarding the need to incorporate space
information into professional military education; however, this may not be
sufficiently achieved until joint military doctrine on space operations,
which has been under development for a decade, is issued. Until then, DOD
and military service postgraduate colleges and schools will lack guidance
for developing space education curricula and for determining whether their
existing curricula need to be modified.

To ensure that the most cost-effective decisions are made in regard to
planning and programming for space systems, we recommend that the Secretary
of Defense direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications, and Intelligence and, as appropriate, the Under Secretary of
Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to (1) require that plans
in support of space systems include analyses of the estimated costs and
potential effectiveness of plausible terrestrial--land, sea, and
air--systems as alternatives for performing the identified space missions,
functions, or tasks and (2) establish the means to develop and employ the
modeling and simulation tools necessary to perform comparative analyses of
space and terrestrial systems. Because the military services can only
analyze space and terrestrial systems that are within their organizational
purview, the Secretary should also identify and/or establish the proper
office, and provide the necessary authority, to perform such analyses for
decisionmakers on a DOD-wide basis.

To ensure that military personnel are adequately educated in the use of
space systems for military operations, we recommend that the Secretary of
Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to (1) address the
delay in completing joint doctrine for space operations by resolving
differences among the services and establishing a time frame for issuance
and (2) provide the necessary instructions to DOD and military service
colleges and schools for incorporating essential space information into
their professional military education curricula.

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our
recommendations. DOD stated that our recommendation regarding the need to
perform analyses of terrestrial alternatives in planning for space systems
is, at least in principle, being implemented through an existing
departmental process, specifically citing directions within its acquisition
management system. We are aware of DOD's acquisition management requirements
whereby such analyses may be performed as early as the concept exploration
phase in preparation for a program initiation decision, called milestone I.
Often, these analyses are comparisons of like systems, such as whether a new
aircraft or spacecraft offers sufficient effectiveness to be worth the cost
of replacing an existing aircraft or spacecraft. To the extent that DOD were
to employ, during this early phase of the acquisition process, analyses of
alternatives that compared unlike systems, such as space systems with
plausible terrestrial (land, sea, and air) systems, the results could be
favorable.

However, the evidence in this report indicates that analyses of terrestrial
alternatives in long-range space planning have not been performed. We did
not find that the space plans identified missions, functions, and tasks that
could be performed more efficiently and effectively by space forces than
terrestrial alternatives, as called for in DOD's space policy. To identify
such would have required an evaluation of the operational effectiveness and
estimated costs of alternative systems to meet a mission need. Instead, the
space plans were aimed at space system solutions only. DOD's space policy
characterizes space as a medium for conducting any operation where mission
success and effectiveness would be enhanced relative to other media--land,
sea, and air--necessitating a comparison with the other media. Given the
increasing national importance of space systems, we believe that DOD should
emphasize the application of such analyses of alternatives as early as
possible in its decision-making processes--during its requirements
generation process, which precedes the acquisition management process, and
during the preparation of long-range plans. The results could be even more
favorable by providing assessments of the advantages and disadvantages of
alternatives to satisfy requirements before programs are initiated and
investments are made.

DOD also stated that our recommendation regarding the use of modeling and
simulation tools to aid in analyses of terrestrial alternatives is being
implemented, in principle, because new tools are being constantly developed
and existing tools are being continuously refined. DOD believed that this
process was sufficient to ensure that its analysis needs are met. However,
we found evidence that DOD lacked the necessary modeling and simulation
tools to perform the trade-off analyses essential for making comparisons
between space and terrestrial systems. In addition current efforts by DOD to
acquire such tools were limited because of funding constraints. To the
extent that the necessary tools are acquired and used, decisionmakers will
benefit from an ability to select the most cost-effective alternative to
satisfy a mission need. As stated in DOD's space policy, models and
simulations are to be used to reduce the time, resources, and risks of the
acquisition process and increase the quality of the systems being acquired.

In addition, DOD stated that our recommendation regarding the proper office
to perform analyses of terrestrial alternatives is, at least in principle,
being implemented through existing departmental procedures within the
acquisition management system. We are aware of DOD's acquisition guidance
that each analysis of alternatives is to adequately define the range of
alternatives to be considered. If teams that perform such analyses are able
to construct a full range of alternatives under its current departmental
procedures that would include adequate comparisons between space and
terrestrial systems, greater benefits should accrue. However, we are not
convinced that DOD has fully addressed this matter of how proposed space
systems would be assessed relative to land, sea, and air systems.

Finally, DOD stated that action would be taken regarding our recommendation
about adequate education for military personnel in the use of space systems
for military operations. DOD stated that a review would be performed, under
the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to provide
guidance for essential space information that must be present in
professional military education and training.

DOD's complete comments are included in appendix I.

Comments From the Department of Defense

GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments

Homer Thomson (202) 512-4841

In addition to the person named above, James Elgas, Arthur Gallegos,
Maricela Camarena, Dale M. Yuge, and Judy T. Lasley made key contributions
to this report.

(707395)

Table 1: Number of Space Support Teams' Activities From
August 1998 to August 1999 34

Table 2: DOD and Military Service Colleges and Schools and
Number of Solely Space-Related Courses or Lessons 37

Figure 1: Defense Space Funding for Fiscal Years 1994-2005 18

Figure 2: Air Force Space Funding Projections for Fiscal
Years 2000-17 30
  

1. The U.S. Space Command is a unified combatant command of DOD that was
activated in 1985 to consolidate all military space efforts under one
commander in chief who is directly responsible to the President through the
Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2. National Space Policy, Presidential Decision Directive-National Security
Council-49/National Science and Technology Council-8 (Sept. 14, 1996).

3. DOD's space policy was established as DOD Directive 3100.10 (July 9,
1999), which canceled the previous space policy established in 1987.

4. Space forces are defined as systems, equipment, facilities,
organizations, and personnel necessary to access, use, and, if directed,
control space for national security purposes.

5. DOD's planning, programming, and budgeting system is a resource
allocation process for making decisions on policy, strategy, and the
development of forces and capabilities to accomplish anticipated missions.

6. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, sections 1621-30
(P.L. 106-65,
Oct. 5, 1999).

7. The purpose of joint military doctrine is to provide the fundamental
principles for guiding the employment of forces of two or more services
toward a common objective.

8. DOD's future years defense program summarizes forces and resources
associated with programs approved by the Secretary of Defense and supports
the President's annual defense budgets.

9. See Future Years Defense Program: Funding Increase and Planned Savings in
Fiscal Year 2000 Program Are at Risk (GAO/NSIAD-00-11 , Nov. 22, 1999) and
Future Years Defense Program: Substantial Risks Remain in DOD's 1999-2003
Plan (GAO/NSIAD-98-204 , July 31, 1998).

10. 1999 Commercial Space Transportation Forecasts, Federal Aviation
Administration and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee
(May 1999).

11. National Space Policy, Presidential Decision Directive-National Security
Council-49/National Science and Technology Council-8 (Sept. 14, 1996).

12. Space architectures describe relationships among space systems that
perform functions to achieve desired missions at designated performance
levels, thus providing a long-term framework to guide detailed planning.

13. DOD's revised space policy was established as DOD Directive 3100.10
(July 9, 1999); it canceled previous space policy that was established in
1987.

14. Space forces are defined as systems, equipment, facilities,
organizations, and personnel necessary to access, use, and if directed,
control space for national security purposes.

15. DOD's planning, programming, and budgeting system is a resource
allocation process for making decisions on policy, strategy, and the
development of forces and capabilities to accomplish anticipated missions.

16. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, sections
1621-30 (P. L. 106-65,
Oct. 5, 1999).

17. National Space Issues: Observations on Defense Space Programs and
Activities (GAO/NSIAD-94-253 , Aug. 16, 1994).

18. Space: Emerging Options for National Power, RAND, National Defense
Research Institute (1998).

19. Report on a Space Roadmap for the 21st Century Aerospace Force, U.S. Air
Force Scientific Advisory Board (Nov. 1998).

20. DOD's future years defense program summarizes forces and resources
associated with programs approved by the Secretary of Defense and supports
the President's annual defense budgets.

21. Future Years Defense Program: Funding Increase and Planned Savings in
Fiscal Year 2000 Program Are at Risk (GAO/NSIAD-00-11 , Nov. 22, 1999) and
Future Years Defense Program: Substantial Risks Remain in DOD's 1999-2003
Plan (GAO/NSIAD-98-204 , July 31, 1998).

22. The publication we examined is in draft form titled Joint Doctrine:
Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Space Operations, Joint Publication
3-14, Joint Chiefs of Staff (April 1999).

23. The National Defense University is under the supervision of the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is concerned with higher education and
research in matters relating to national defense.
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