Space force

Companies strike, but Space Force acquisition portal “Front Door” remains closed

Joy White, executive director of Space Systems Command, right, speaks with Lt. Gen. John Thompson at Los Angeles Air Force Base, then head of SSC, Aug. 21, 2019. (via DVIDS)

WASHINGTON: Space Force Acquisitions Command, Space Systems Command, has since February touted plans for a new one-stop website for interested vendors, called SSC Front Door, as part of an overall reorganization designed to accelerate the development and procurement.

But for now, that vaunted gateway remains essentially closed — a static website outlining future plans, with an email address for queries. A senior official said today that updates are in the works.

In addition to providing background information on upcoming Industry Days designed to explain Space Force programmatic requirements and the Command’s new “reverse industry” days before the program, the Gateway is also meant to connect the companies, especially those new to the Pentagon’s space acquisition maze, with a “sherpa” to guide them to the right office and contracting processes.

Indeed, over the past few weeks, company representatives have been regularly referred to this site for information on SSC’s upcoming “Reverse Industry Day” on the topic of Space Domain Awareness (SDA). , including the vast cislunar region between Earth’s outer orbit and the Moon. The event is supposed to give them the opportunity to show their products and meet future needs. But following those directions to the static site has left some frustrated, according to a number of industry sources who contacted Breaking Defense for event information and/or an SSC point of contact.

“As far as I know, the ‘SSC Front Door’ is not yet a reality,” an industry source said. “I emailed this address and initially received an auto-reply that they were still working on the front door setup and it might take a few days to get a response. Then when I got a response from someone, they asked me to fill out a form which is not yet available on their website and to view a list of upcoming events, which is also not not yet available on the website. But they said the form and list of events will be available at some point in the future – so hopefully!

Joy White, Executive Director of SSC, today admitted the Gateway is ‘still in its infancy’ and essentially asked industry to support the command as it lifts the initiative.

SSC chart showing front door

Space acquisition universe space systems command map.

“We’re working to add a lot more features to the Gateway in the coming weeks, so I’ve asked you to keep coming back to this page,” she said during a National-sponsored webinar. Security Space Association (NSSA). “We are still running this office and we are still developing this capacity. So I guess right now you’re probably seeing a few days before you commit.

White added that if any information is not yet available through the gateway on the SDA Reverse Industry Day, which she said will be held on July 28, it should be posted on the website in the coming months. days.

To be fair, SSC’s plans for the gateway are ambitious and, once realized, should greatly facilitate communications with industry.

“We are looking to establish a two-step process for engaging with industry. First, we have an engagement function performed by a strategic assessment cell, and this cell will engage with the industry by performing rapid analysis of incoming technology to vector it towards potential SSC opportunities,” explained White. This cell will also “actively keep abreast of the ongoing state of commercial technology” and advise SSC leaders and program managers, as well as “actively connect program offices with promising industrial technology.”

In addition, she said, Front Door staff will conduct “a due diligence assessment process where they will consider business viability, technical feasibility and operational utility”, in consultation with experts. of the entire Space Force and Air Force Research. Laboratory. This verification process is designed “to ensure that the capabilities we invest in or plan to integrate can be fully integrated.”

As for returning to the industry, White said, the portal’s end goal is to emulate the live chat processes ubiquitous on retail websites.

“It’s my vision of the front door of SSC, is that when you are plugged in, someone answers you immediately. So that’s the long-term goal,” she said.

Asked for comment, SPC was unable to provide per press time an estimated date when the full Front Door website should be up and running.