Space Policy Pod: Episode 6 (Shawn Barnes, U.S. Air Force) 15 July 2020

  • SPACEPOLICY_400x400Space Policy Pod

    Given the current real-world challenges confronting all of us, AIAA has joined the MITRE Corporation, Space Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to produce this podcast series to examine events and ideas affecting the space sector. We hope the episodes serve as an enlightening discussion on the relevant topics of the day with insights from key policymakers in the field.
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  • Shawn BarnesEpisode 6 Shawn Barnes

    15 July 2020

    Senior Executive Service, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration, U.S. Air Force




This podcast discussion features Shawn Barnes, a member of the Senior Executive Service, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration. Mr. Barnes is responsible for carrying out Air Force space missions and integrating space policy, guidance, coordination and synchronization of space-related activities, and issue resolution for the Department of the Air Force.

 Key Takeaways

COVID-19 Impacts on the Defense Industrial Base
Mr. Barnes notes that the pandemic is having a significant on the defense industrial base. A recent survey found that over 50% of surveyed companies reported COVID-19 impacts. Additionally, the space industrial base often deals with highly classified production and requires a highly skilled workforce, limiting work-from-home opportunities. 

Interaction between Space Force and the other Services
Mr. Barnes stated that Space Force will work closely with the other services to satisfy the joint need for space-based capabilities. The Army, for example, is the largest customer of space-enabled services in the military. 

New Space Architectures
Mr. Barnes spoke of the relationship between industry and government as rich and evolving. Commercial industry is innovating technically and creating new business models, such as the mass production of satellites. The U.S. government is interested in taking advantages of these new ways of doing business. 

Space Acquisition Reform 
The Space Acquisition Council has had three meetings since its establishment earlier this year. Not only is the Council is focused on responding to the most likely and dangerous threats, but there is also discussing of more extensive acquisition reform. There are two majors thrusts: driving acquisition authority down to the program executive level and successfully managing the portfolio.