Executive Agent Role for Space Weapon System Sustainment Transfers to Space Systems Command

  • Published
  • By Lisa Sodders, SSC Public Affairs
The executive agent (EA) role for Space Weapon System Sustainment (WSS) which provides enterprise-level oversight for weapon system sustainment processes within acquisition life cycles’ operations and support phase, has been transferred to the U.S. Space Force (USSF) from the Department of the Air Force (DAF) effective Oct. 1, with the appointment of Mr. Hans Robinson to the EA role.
Robinson, who formerly served as chief, Space WSS Division at SSC, will remain based at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado; transferring from the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) to Space Systems Command/S4’s Logistics and Product Support organization. As EA, he will be responsible for control of an annual $1.633 billion portfolio of the weapons system sustainment account for the entire Space Force, including logistics and product support roles and responsibilities.
Robinson said officials recognized soon after the Space Force was established in 2019 that sustainment responsibilities were a key readiness account and should transition from the Department of the Air Force to USSF for portfolio oversight and flexibility.
“SSC is responsible for acquisition for the Space Force; it’s not the only acquisition entity but it’s the largest, with the most responsibility,” Robinson said.
“EA is the operations and support phase of the life cycle,” Robinson said. “It’s at the tail end of the life cycle, which is critical for sustainment and product support. When SSC delivers a new capability, it’s important that the whole life cycle is accounted for, and the operations and support phase is a big part of that.”
“A system may have a design life of 10, 15 years, but what ends up happening is the operator depends on that system for much longer than that,” Robinson noted. “That’s where weapon system sustainment comes in – it serves as the bridge between acquisitions and operations.”
“These systems were often designed for a specific purpose, but over the years, the environment changes, the threats change, and when that happens, the system has to change with it,” Robinson said, adding that sustainment has a critical role to play in getting after the threat.
“The transfer of the EA role from AFMC to SSC allows for greater sustainment resourcing advocacy across the entire space enterprise and gives operational commanders a stronger voice to meet their readiness requirements,” said Bradley Leonard, director, Logistics and Product Support at SSC.
“For example, we have already pivoted from an aircraft-centric risk model to a risk model that provides USSF decision makers greater fidelity into operational and sustainment needs,” Leonard added. “The EA has also identified the costs of new programs coming into the WSS portfolio - whether that program comes from SSC, another service, or another agency so we now have total visibility of the WSS ecosystem.”
The EA is one of three positions that recently transferred from AFMC to SSC. Logistics and financial management specialists responsible for Planning, Programming, Budget and Execution will now work together under one program office within SSC.
In accordance with SSC Commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein’s strategic mantra to “Exploit what you have, buy what you can, and build only what you must,” “Exploiting what you have is what’s already in operations, and the support phase is the sustainment of the fielded systems,” Robinson said. “It’s not just as simple as, ‘I launched a satellite and I can forget about it,’ because the environment and the operational threat is constantly evolving and must be monitored and sustained. If something goes awry, there needs to be folks at the ready to address those issues.”