Contact: Josh Holly (HASC), 202-226-3988
Washington, D.C. --- Following a highly classified briefing by administration officials today, U.S. Rep. Terry Everett (R-AL), senior Republican on the House Armed Services Subcommittee of Strategic Forces, today raised concerns about a recent anti-satellite missile test by the People’s Republic of China. According to press reports, the successful test by the Chinese military last week destroyed an aging Chinese satellite that was orbiting more than 500 miles in space.
“China’s successful test raises serious concerns about the vulnerability of our space-based assets. We depend on satellites for a host of military and commercial uses, from navigation to ATM transactions,” said Everett. “America needs to take a hard look at our space vulnerabilities and capabilities to protect our assets, starting with space situational awareness. We cannot afford to stand idly by and not address these threats immediately.”
As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces during the 108th and 109th Congresses and Ranking Member in the current Congress, Rep. Everett was and continues to be a leading voice for raising awareness of America’s space vulnerabilities and protecting military and commercial space-based assets.
In a speech before the Strategic Space and Defense Conference last October, Rep. Everett declared that “space is no longer a sanctuary” and argued for greater space situational awareness and a new space protection strategy. He also outlined a number of threats to America’s space-based assets, including jamming, laser “dazzling,” direct ascent anti-satellites, cyber attacks, and space debris.
During his tenure, he enacted into law numerous provisions to improve the nation’s space situational awareness.
In the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed the Secretary of Defense to develop a formal strategy, systems architecture and capabilities roadmap for space situational awareness and update that strategy every two years. The annual defense bill also directed the Secretary of Defense to provide for an independent review and assessment of Pentagon requirements for its space control mission.
Building on these provisions, Congress established an Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Program Office in the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act. The ORS office is responsible for the development of low-cost, rapid reaction payloads, busses, space-lift and launch control capabilities to fulfill joint military operational requirements for on-demand space support and reconstitution of space assets.