Space Systems Command (SSC) is leading a new, tri-agency, Combined Program Office (CPO) that is comprised of representatives from SSC, Space Development Agency (SDA) and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The CPO was established on August 19, 2022, to enhance the United States’ ability to deter, defend and win against competitors’ challenges in space.
The Space Acquisition Council, established by Congress to manage space procurements across the Department of Defense (DoD), concurred on the CPO proposal, enabling the coordinated development and fielding of capabilities in the missile warning (MW), missile tracking (MT) and missile defense (MD) mission areas. The CPO will address growing challenges, resulting from the transition of space from a peaceful domain to one that is congested, contested, and competitive. Other nations now challenge access to, and movement in, space, and have demonstrated the capability and intent to hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk.
Establishing this partnership among MW/MT/MD acquisition organizations will enhance the interface between requirements, operators, and users, optimizing the delivery of integrated and resilient sensor-to-shooter capabilities for the U.S. and its allies.
The CPO organizational structure integrates strategic decision-making across the interagency, establishing:
1) Clear roles, responsibilities, and authorities for SSC, SDA, MDA, and other mission partners;
2) End to end system of systems accountability between requirements and weapon system delivery;
3) Development and management of standards (models, open architecture, data, etc.), and;
4) Integration with operators, combatant commands, and other weapon systems.
“The MW/MT/MD mission is driving the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) new ‘requirements to execution’ roadmap, rapidly turning USSF Force Design into operational capabilities that will outpace and defeat very determined threats,” said U.S. Space Force Col. Brian Denaro, Space Sensing program executive officer, and leader of the new CPO. “Our adversaries continue to develop missile technologies that are faster burning, dimmer, and more maneuverable. This Combined Program Office, in partnership with SDA and MDA, will drive critical integration across a new resilient multi-layer architecture that will warn, track, and defeat these increasingly advanced and elusive missile threats.”
“We are focused on delivering MW/MT/MD capabilities to the warfighter and the nation,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Rasmussen, Tranche 1 (T1) Tracking Layer program manager, SDA. “The Combined Program Office is a critical component in delivering this capability and enabling our nation to counter hypersonic and advance missile threats. Together, SDA, MDA, and SSC will ensure a synchronized end to end capability that sets the foundation for a continually evolving and advancing MW/MT/MD architecture.”
On the establishment of the Combined Program Office, Mr. Walter Chai, director for space sensors at MDA, said, “With the emerging advanced threats, space-based sensors are essential to missile defense. The close collaboration between SDA, SSC, and MDA will ensure that we are able to defeat these threats.”
Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force field command responsible for rapidly identifying, prototyping, and fielding resilient space capabilities for joint warfighters. SSC delivers sustainable joint space warfighting capabilities to defend the nation and its allies, while disrupting adversaries in the contested space domain. SSC mission areas include launch acquisition and operations; space domain awareness; positioning, navigation and timing; missile warning; satellite communication; and cross-mission ground, command and control, and data.