Shanahan: Pentagon has chosen U.S. Space Command chief, will not name publicly yet

By Justin Katz / January 29, 2019 at 12:44 PM

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said today the Pentagon has chosen someone to lead U.S. Space Command, but declined to name that person.

"I'm not going to mention the individual's name, but that is moving its way through the process," he told reporters today at the Pentagon.

The Pentagon has been developing a legislative proposal, due to be sent to Congress with the fiscal year 2020 budget request, for the establishment of a Space Force since President Donald Trump called for one last summer. The Defense Department in August announced it would re-establish U.S. Space Command.

Shanahan's spokesman has said the acting secretary will continue to be the Pentagon's point person for shaping the proposal, despite that responsibility being delegated to him when he was the deputy defense secretary.

The acting secretary added that ongoing internal discussions about U.S. Space Command will focus on delivering capability faster, and addressing concerns he's heard from lawmakers.

"When I go up on [Capitol Hill] and talk to members about where they have concerns or where their interests are, they're very focused on: how do we not grow a bureaucracy? How do we not generate unnecessary cost?" Shanahan said.

"When we talk about the Space Force, and I think about the discussions we're going to have over the next five, six months, it's going to be [a] small -- as small as possible footprint," he continued. "How do we go faster with the development and leveraging of commercially available technology."