Without fanfare, President Obama has signed into law the Fiscal 2010 defense appropriations bill, completing the defense budget process for this fiscal year. He signed the defense policy bill into law back in October. Obama’s signature on the new spending act came on Dec. 19, according to a White House Dec. 21 release. That was the same day that the Senate approved the bill and three days after the House passed it. The legislation provides $636.3 billion for the Pentagon (as well as Energy Department-run nuclear weapons activities). This total includes $128.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and covers a 3.4 percent military pay raise. Despite Administration resistance, the act contains $2.5 billion for 10 more C-17 transports and $465 million to continue the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine program. It also delays the Air Force’s plan to retire some 250 legacy fighters.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.