As DoD ramps up space-related activities–including plans to spend about $65 billion through 2023 on satellites, launch vehicles, ground control facilities, and other space-related acquisitions–it needs to better assess the level of such expertise in it acquisition workforce, GAO says.
It said he Pentagon lacks “a comprehensive view” of its space acquisition workforce because it does not maintain a complete list of its space acquisition programs; its workforce data systems are not configured to identify personnel working on space acquisition activities; and its space acquisition personnel are dispersed across organizations and some personnel support both space and non-space programs.
“Without complete and accurate data, DoD cannot assess gaps in the overall capabilities of the space acquisition workforce. Identifying space programs and collecting such data would also better position DoD to ensure that the appropriate space acquisition personnel are assigned to the new Space Development Agency and the United States Space Command. Finally, comprehensive data on the space acquisition workforce would also be beneficial to support DoD’s efforts related to its recent legislative proposal regarding the establishment of the United States Space Force,” it said.
GAO said that data it collected from multiple DoD space acquisition organizations show that at least 8,000 personnel in multiple locations nationwide were working on space acquisition activities at the end of 2017–mostly its own civilian and military personnel, but also contractor and federally funded R&D center personnel.
It said DoD agreed with its recommendation to identify the universe of its space acquisition programs and the organizations that support them.