Pentagon To Rethink Space Program Classification Determination Method

Pentagon To Rethink Space Program Classification Determination Method

The United States Department of Defense might need to rewrite its guide for space program classifications. According to a government policy official, Congress directed the Pentagon, last year, to review its in-house classified space portfolio in order to determine if every program has been appropriately classified.

The Fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act initially required the DoD to complete this analysis by the end of April and then submit their report, to Congress, in June.  This would then be followed by the implementation of any potential classification changes by the end of July.

Assistant secretary of defense for space policy John Plumb, at a recent Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing, said that the US Department of Defense determined, through review, that space programs have been mostly classified appropriately.

At the same time, the DoD might need to reconsider how it classifies some of its space programs down the road.  As a matter of fact, he notes that the several hundred space programs to have been deemed classified do meet the criteria within the current system.  The fundamental question, Plumb notes, is whether or note the existing classification guide needs to be reworked.

That in mind, Plumb expressed his commitment to work with Congress to determine the proper path to move forward.  This will help them determine whether or not the department needs to make any processional changes.

Similarly, subcommittee ranking member De Fischer, R-Neb, commented during the hearing that she believes the public should be privy to as much information about the DoD’s space activities as can be possibly available.

Fischer said, “I think it’s extremely important, without putting any of our people or our systems or our ways that we find information in jeopardy, to be able to get some of that information out.”