Air Force eyeing legislative change to fast-track space SAE authorities

By Courtney Albon / May 7, 2021 at 1:58 PM

The Air Force expects a nomination "shortly" for an assistant secretary for space acquisition, and service leaders told lawmakers this week they may request a legislative change that would allow a confirmed nominee to be given service acquisition executive authorities within the Space Force before October 2022.

Responding to questions from House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairwoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) about the service’s slow progress filling that role, acting Air Force Secretary John Roth said he recognizes the importance of identifying a space acquisition executive, and the service is working toward that end.

“I share your concern,” Roth said. “That position needs to be filled as soon as possible. . . . I assume anytime shortly that further nominations need to be filled as soon as possible.”

Lawmakers have directed the service to name an assistant secretary for space acquisition who would serve as the Space Force acquisition executive beginning on Oct. 1, 2022. Roth indicated the Air Force may propose legislation that would adjust the wording of current law to allow the future confirmed assistant secretary to begin operating as SAE sooner.