Pentagon officially announces Space Development Agency — despite kickback from Air Force secretary

Elizabeth Howe
March 14, 2019 - 12:26 pm

Photo courtesy of DVIDS


Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan signed a memo this week officially announcing the Space Development Agency as a new office. Fred Kennedy, Air Force veteran and director of the Tactical Technology Office — an office under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — will be the agency's first director. 

“The SDA will define and monitor the Department’s future threat-driven space architecture and will accelerate the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure our technological and military advantage in space for national defense. The SDA will unify and integrate efforts across the Department to define, develop and field the novel and innovative solutions necessary to outpace advancing threats," the memo reads.

The SDA is meant to be a precursor to an eventual, stand-alone Space Force. 

"Coordination of requirements and transition decisions will occur through the normal processes once SDA transfers to the U.S. Space Force. Until that time, the Department will evaluate additional consolidation of space development organization and management,” Shanahan wrote.

This memo comes roughly two weeks after Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson released a memo of her own — criticizing Shanahan's Space Development Agency as a dangerously underdeveloped plan that replicates existing organizations.

“Until the Space Development Agency has a uniquely identifiable mission that cannot be accomplished by current organizations, the plan should not move forward,” the memo reads. 

Wilson also recently announced her resignation from the office of Air Force secretary.

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