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Air Force Secretary Visits SMC--Priorities and Programs Discussed

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley visited the Space and Missile Systems Center Friday, his first visit to the Center since being nominated in June as the service's highest-ranking civilian.

Mr. Donley's visit to SMC was an opportunity to continue his efforts to introduce himself to Air Force personnel and review SMC's recent program milestones and acquisition processes.

"It's a pleasure to be here at SMC, the birthplace of Air Force space. The men and women of SMC do a tremendous amount of work providing our warfighters with the space assets they need. I've enjoyed hearing about what you do here and meeting some of the men and women that are part of this critical Air Force mission area. Continue to do great things for our nation. I anticipate hearing more about your continued successes."

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Ms. Sue Payton; Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space Programs, Mr. Gary Payton; and former SMC Vice Commander, Maj. Gen. Neil McCasland, accompanied Mr. Donley.

After a tour of Los Angeles Air Force Base, SMC Commander, Lt. Gen. Tom Sheridan briefed the distinguished visitors on the SMC organization and mission. Specifics regarding programs in SMC's portfolio were presented throughout the day including the anticipated launches of the second wideband global SATCOM satellite, the first space based infrared systems satellite, the first advanced extremely high frequency satellite, the first space-based space surveillance satellite, and the new GPS Block IIF satellite system.

Other issues on Mr. Donley's agenda the current status of the intercontinental ballistic missile sustainment effort and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance posture, including unmanned aerial surveillance.

A number of the Secretary's agenda items in the foreseeable future will require him and the members of his staff to construct "roadmaps" for decisions requiring a more in-depth review. Some of those decisions include an organizational review of space management and a comprehensive look at acquisition.