Air Force Space Command expects to receive funding to restore several activities that the command had to curtail earlier this year due to the budget sequester, according to AFSPC boss Gen. William Shelton. Earlier this month, Congress authorized the Air Force to reprogram $1.8 billion in funds for the remainder of the fiscal year, some of which is going to restore flying operations for combat air forces units that stood down in April. Similarly, AFSPC is getting some of the reprogrammed funds. Shelton told the Daily Report in a written statement on July 22 that the command would allocate $70 million of these funds for “long-haul communications”; $63 million for space weapon system sustainment; $5 million for the Cobra Dane radar system at Eareckson AFS, Alaska; and $1 million for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System radar at Cavalier AFS, N.D. “These priorities reflect the ongoing need for critical space and cyber support to joint warfighters and our nation,” stated Shelton.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.