With dwindling work for contractors in a time of shrinking funds, the Air Force is keenly aware that industrial base concerns have to be a component in any procurement decisions, said Secretary Michael Donley on Friday. “The fewer the resources available, the bigger these decisions get,” said Donley at a press conference during AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. In any source-selection decision, Donley said, “we do have to be mindful of our future needs for the Department of Defense in the technologies and specific engineering talent needed to support development of new technologies, especially if we have to go through a very, very lean period.” The Air Force is trying to promote competition in some areas, such as space launch, but in other areas where work is just too limited, “it makes it harder for [companies] in some cases to survive a decision in which they are not selected,” he said. There’s a risk of those firms “not coming back into the business if they don’t win,” he noted.
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.”