FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
In Unpredictable Times, Robert Gates is the Common Denominator
I read a recent profile of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Time Magazine that I found to add an interesting perspective to the uncertainty that has captured the dynamic of the military and civil space satellite industry since President Barack Obama took office in January. The piece portrays Gates as a no-nonsense, zero-sum centered diplomat. In my recent interviews with both military officers and commercial industry executives who have dealt with Gates, the accuracy of this profile is confirmed — Gates gets right to the point and does not hide his opinions.
Gates retained his post as defense secretary between two very different administrations, which satisfied a wide range of the political spectrum but threw several analysts and military budget experts for a loop. How would Gates adapt to a new administration, which many in military circles believed was priming for massive military budget cuts? Judging by Gates' confidence, take-charge management style and the sheer amount of research and memorization the man brings to congressional hearings, one could say that Gates would have made the same decisions regardless of the political affiliations of the executive branch.
Gates seems to have one simple rule: if it doesn't work and the United States can't afford it, it's gone. What makes his approach unique is that when cuts are made, Gates explores the alternatives. For example, the termination of the U.S. Air Force's TSAT program sent shock waves through the companies and engineers who were fighting for the multi-billion dollar contract, however, the Wideband Global Satcom satellite program has gathered momentum and the military satellite communications giants have taken notice. The reality of military reliance on commercial satellite communications has also begun to sink in, and new opportunities are starting to reveal themselves.
What does the Gates/Obama era mean for the government satellite sector? These times require executives and military officers to research constantly. Market analysis and technology acquisition are more important now than ever and as battle theaters shift much faster now than ever before, military officers need to start diversifying their contract plans and take on the approach of a CEO.
— Jeffrey Hill, News Editor.
Growth in Military Satcom Needs Reaches New Levels; Opens More Opportunities
The bandwidth needs of the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense and its coalition forces have increased to the point where the U.S. government now relies on commercial satellite providers for 80 percent of its total capacity to meet mission requirements, according to Bill Schmidt, vice president of government marketing for Xtar... More»
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Oerlikon Sells Space Division to Ruag
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Next-Gen Blue Force Tracking Systems Undergo Testing This Summer
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German Ministry of Defense General Outlines Space Strategy
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Orbit Wins French Navy Deal
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Raytheon Wins DISA Information Assurance and Network Operations Contract
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Atrexx Wins U.S. Air Force Eagle Vision Connectivity Contract
Atrexx, a German satellite service provider, won a U.S. Air Force Eagle Vision contract... More»
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