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The U.S. Defense Department establishes new space policy position

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently established the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy (ASD(SP)) position as directed in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. 

The ASD(SP) will be the senior official who will be responsible for the overall supervision of DoD policy for space warfighting. The ASD(SP) will be directly under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)). Additionally, ASD(SP) will have the responsibility for interagency coordination and international engagement on matters of space policy and strategy.

Parabolic Arc quoted Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist as saying that the Department of Defense continues the most significant transformation in the history of the U.S. national security space program. He added that the establishment of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy is a change of the civilian oversight of the space enterprise that aligns with the establishment of the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command.

In 2019, the Department of Defense and the United States elevated two military organizations for space. As outlined in the National Defense Strategy and the Lines of Effort outlined in the Defense Space Strategy, this change in civilian oversight will continue to bring focus to long-term strategic competition.

Mr. Justin Johnson is designated as the official in charge of performing the duties of the ASD(SP) until such time as an individual is nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and appointed to the position. Whereas, Mr. Gregory Pejic is designated to serve as the Principal Deputy ASD(SP) until an individual is appointed to the position of ASD(SP).

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