The Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force’s acquisition shop at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., merged two of its directorates into the newly formed Advanced Systems and Development Directorate, or AD, announced center officials on Monday. The reason for merging the former Space Development and Test Directorate and the Development Planning Directorate is to better position the center to develop affordable and resilient next-generation space systems at decreased risk, states SMC’s Nov. 24 release. “The primary benefit of the merger is the establishment of a singularly focused organization that pulls together a multitude of science and technology activities with developmental planning and architecture efforts into focused ground, on-orbit, and launch demonstrations and operations,” reads the release. Officially activated on Oct. 7, the AD brings together the science and technology, pre-systems acquisition, and developmental planning expertise resident at Los Angeles and the advanced test, demonstration, and launch capabilities located at Kirtland AFB, N.M., said SMC officials.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.