The U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) has assumed responsibility for procurement of commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) services for the Department of Defense. Previously, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) held this role. The responsibility was officially handed over to AFSPC on December 12 in accordance with Section 1601(a) of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
AFSPC and DISA have been working closely together over the last year to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities, while maintaining timely and effective provision of COMSATCOM services for the joint force during and after transition.
Initially, the 36 civilian and military members and 70 support contractors executing the COMSATCOM procurement mission will be under operational control of AFSPC, while DISA retains administrative control of those personnel. Formal transfer of the personnel to AFSPC will occur by October 2019.
Previously, DISA handled COMSATCOM procurement, while AFSPC handled procurement of DoD owned satellites. This split in responsibilities led to a lack of strategic vision in terms of procurement. By combing the two procurement methods, the DoD will be able to acquire systems or services as needed based, optimizing satellite sue for specific missions. It will also enable the DoD to take a long-range view of its needs. That long term planning will provide improved capability at lower costs.