USAF doesn’t stand alone—entirely—in its recent push to become lead agent for higher flying unmanned aerial vehicles. We reported that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) had expressed support for the plan. Now, a senior Air Force official says that a number of lawmakers have asked “why we are going down the path of duplicative systems.” Among the loudest, in addition to Dorgan: Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Dorgan and Allard are on the Appropriations Committee; Conrad is on the Budget Committee. Conrad and Dorgan see a future for Air Force Predator UAVs at bases in their state. Recent comments by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) should also put him on the Air Force side on this issue.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”