The Department of Defense's (DOD) operational dependence on space has placed new and increasing demands on current space systems to meet commanders' needs. DOD's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) concept is designed to more rapidly satisfy commanders' needs for information and intelligence during ongoing operations. Given the potential for ORS to change how DOD acquires and fields space capabilities to support the warfighter, this report discusses to what extent DOD (1) is developing ORS to support warfighter requirements and (2) has a plan that integrates ORS into existing DOD and intelligence community processes and architecture. GAO reviewed and analyzed ORS planning documents, the ORS concept of operations, and processes for meeting warfighter needs and also interviewed defense and intelligence community officials who are involved with the ORS concept.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. The DOD Executive Agent for Space should direct the Joint ORS Office, in consultation with U.S. Strategic Command, to define ORS key terms including what qualifies as an urgent need, how timely satisfaction of a need is evaluated, and what Joint Force Commander needs the ORS concept is trying to satisfy.|
|Department of Defense||2. The DOD Executive Agent for Space should direct the Joint ORS Office, in consultation with U.S. Strategic Command, to establish an ongoing communications and outreach approach for ORS to help guide DOD's efforts to promote, educate, and foster acceptance among the combatant commands, military services, intelligence community, and other DOD organizations.|
|Department of Defense||3. The DOD Executive Agent for Space should, in consultation with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and in cooperation with the military services, identify the steps necessary to ensure the integration of the ORS concept into existing DOD and intelligence community processes and architecture as the Joint ORS Office continues its long-term planning of the ORS concept.|