The Department of Defense redirected more than $282 million to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs in the past two months, largely from a defense-wide operation and maintenance account.
The most recently approved reprogramming of $247 million was dated June 21. According to the Pentagon, the action aims to close ISR gaps in the combatant commands. The transfers go to a variety of programs, including artificial intelligence development and developing a bilateral network to share ISR data with strategic partners.
In addition to the $247 million from operation and maintenance accounts, the June 21 reprogramming action also transfers $22.5 million to Special Operations Command. That money was made available after ending a program for a signals intelligence sensor effort that originally appeared in the fiscal year 2018 budget. About $13 million of that funding will now provide signals intelligence sensors for use on contractor airborne ISR systems, while another $6.5 million will go toward modernizing an undisclosed maritime ISR system. The remaining funding will go to acquiring and deploying six new sensitive compartmented information facilities.
The June 21 reprogramming action follows a $12.25 million reprogramming action May 20. Then, about $7.9 million of that funding went to classified programs, while the remaining $4.3 million went to upgrading AI and machine learning processors in support of pattern of life analysis.
Of the more than quarter of a billion dollars in transferred funding, the Army received $31 million, the Navy received $28.6 million, the Air Force received $77.6 million, and the remaining $144.8 million will be spent on defense-wide programs.
Meanwhile, the Air Force has announced July 15 that Col. Julian Cheater will be the service’s new director of ISR operations. Cheater will work under the deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and cyber effects operations, a position created recently as part of the Air Force’s reorganization of it’s ISR and cyber efforts.
Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.