WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force’s main procurement arm, the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, shifted into telework mode more than a week ago, as did many of its contractors. But as the state of California moved to shut down non-essential businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, SMC worked with state and local authorities to make sure facilities that manufacture satellites, launch vehicles and other critical equipment stayed open.
“We had to ensure authorities are aware that the work that our contractors are doing is really critical for the nation’s defense,” Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, told SpaceNews March 25 in an interview from his home office.
Thompson said a DoD memo signed last week by Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord — declaring defense suppliers critical infrastructure — was an important move that helped avert closures. “We worked very closely last week with Santa Clara County in California, for example, to help Lockheed Martin and ensure the county knew the work done at Sunnyvale is critical to national defense.”
The same help is being extended to smaller companies and subcontractors that may not be aware that their ...