SpOC stands up SAIO, bolstering its acquisition capability

  • Published
  • By Space Operations Command Public Affairs
  • Space Operations Command
Space Operations Command formally stands up the Space Acquisition and Integration Office here, December 13, 2023.

By serving as the bridge between mission and industry, SAIO merges operations with acquisition solutions.  

“SAIO is a significant organization for SpOC, not only because it breaks the normal paradigm for executing services acquisition in the Department of the Air Force, but provides robust, integrated program, contracting, and quality management support and expertise under a single Director,” said Katharine Weimer, SAIO Director. 

SAIO currently manages a $9 billion portfolio consisting of knowledge-based services, as well as provides dedicated program, contract, and quality management support for operations and maintenance contracted programs for SpOC-assigned missions.  

“The organization raises the bar for how we traditionally execute and manage services contracts and programs ensuring the delivery of essential outsourced capability for the mission partners we support,” said Weimer.

SAIO supports SpOC missions, along with supporting two Combatant Commands and the USSF’s Space Training and Readiness Command while these agencies work to establish their own acquisition capability.  “Success in the space domain requires integrated effort not only within the organization but with industry partners,” says SAIO’s Deputy Director for Contracting, Lt. Col. Casey Walterscheid. “SAIO was established to develop smart acquisition solutions that are timely, innovative, and effective.”

Industry increases the power and expertise of SpOC, making it a true "force multiplier." To increase mission effectiveness and achieve the desired result, SpOC employs acquisition subject-matter experts.  Without industry partners, the mission could not be carried out when there is a lack of government resources. 

SAIO was informally activated on June 18th, 2021, by merging three legacy organizations and two contracting flights.

Recently, SAIO assumed the Army and Navy SATCOM contract portfolio with no breaks and service and executed STARCOM’s contract for professional military education with John Hopkins University.

"We are proud of the speed we executed the acquisition by condensing a normal 14–18-month timeline to six months and being at the forefront of helping STARCOM establish its training model,” said Weimer.

The men and women of SAIO are dedicated to providing exceptional support and strive to be viewed as integral members of the team vs. a hurdle the mission partner has to clear before receiving the needed capability.  The formal activation of SAIO re-enforces the SpOC Commander’s commitment to lean and agile operations to include how it executes and manages acquisitions.