Air Force Space Command to Assume Commercial Satcom Acquisition Responsibility; Clare Grason Quoted

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The Defense Information Systems Agency is set to hand over by December its oversight of satellite communications services procurement to Air Force Space Command, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

Clare Grason, division chief for satcom at DISA, said her office will become part of Air Force Space Command and will draft an acquisition strategy next year to address commanders’ satcom requirements.

“We’re seeing a different type of support to get after the transformation, to elevate commercial satcom to where it needs to be, as vital infrastructure,” Grason said Wednesday at the 2018 Global MilSatcom conference in London.

Grason noted that the command intends to change the process of awarding contracts to commercial satcom providers by using other criteria aside from vetting offers based on the “lowest price technically acceptable” approach.

“Over the next year we have an initiative to compete our contracts on a best value tradeoff basis while we develop a more comprehensive acquisition strategy for buying and using satcom differently,” she added.

Air Force Space Command will assume responsibility of the Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services program and commercial satellite leasing group, but DISA will continue to oversee ground systems and satellite gateway integration function, Grason said.

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