USAF Monitors COVID-19 Impact On Space Industry

Department of the Air Force logo.
Credit: USAF

The Department of the Air Force has conducted its first-ever Space Acquisition Council (SAC) meeting and discussed the need for integration and synchronization across the national security space community, current and projected threats to U.S. interests in space, and the impact of the COVID-19 environment on the aerospace industry.

Congress directed the Pentagon to establish the nascent council in the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper is the SAC chairman. Additional members include Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Rayment; Shon Manasco, performing the duties of the undersecretary of the Air Force; Stephen Kitay, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy; Derek Tournear, Space Development Agency director; National Reconnaissance Office Director Christopher Scolese; Lt. Gen. JT Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander; and Shawn Barnes, performing the duties of the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration.

The SAC will hold a second, out-of-cycle meeting within the next two weeks to focus on required actions to stabilize the aerospace industry and identify how best to focus additional stimulus funding during the spread of the novel coronavirus, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

“Our aerospace industrial base is particularly at risk as commercial markets recede and defense markets slow during COVID-19 uncertainty,” Roper said in an April 14 statement. “The Space Acquisition Council will hold an emergency session to converge on a plan of action to stabilize our industrial base. Working with Congress, we can ensure the nation’s space superiority does not become a cornonavirus victim.”