The Department of Defenses (DoDs) Commercial Satellite Communications (COMSATCOM) Annual Usage Report is widely regarded as the authoritative source for information on DoD COMSATCOM expenditures and bandwidth usage.
The United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) partners with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on an annual basis to report on the DoDs COMSATCOM prior year usage and expenditures, pursuant to Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 6250.1D. The fourth and latest of these annual reports covers DoD COMSATCOM usage and expenditures over the period FY 2000 through FY 2010 and was released in August of this year to the DoD stakeholders.
The Annual Report provides a detailed account of DoDs annual COMSATCOM bandwidth usage and expenditures, both in aggregate and segmented by various service profiles such as Combatant Commands (COCOMS), Services, and DoD Agencies (CC/S/A), frequency band, and coverage region. The report also analyzes DoD cost effectiveness in relation to general market prices of COMSATCOM bandwidth.
In FY 2010, DoD expended $972.1 million on COMSATCOM services ($655.3 million for Fixed Satellite Services [FSS], $12.7 million in Ultra High Frequency [UHF] satellite communications, and $304.2 million in Mobile Satellite Services [MSS]). Over the course of FY 2010, DoD FSS expenditures and associated usage increased 3.8 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. The Army, Navy, and Air Force accounted for 75.8 percent of all reported FSS expenditures among all CC/S/As in FY 2010.
The legacy Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Satellite Transmission Services-Global (DSTS-G) contract provided satellite bandwidth and services to meet the majority of DoD FSS requirements.
The DSTS-G FY 2010 average prices for COMSATCOM bandwidth exhibited superior performance compared with other DoD COMSATCOM contracts. However, the FY 2010 Report marks the first time the average DSTS-G price for leased bandwidth exceeded the relative global industry average. The report concludes this was likely due more to the fact that continued bandwidth supply constraints are in regions where DoD most relies on COMSATCOM (namely the Middle East/Africa, Europe, and North America). Within-region comparisons demonstrate DSTS-G offered more cost-effective solutions in relation to market averages (See Figure 1 below).
MSS FY 2010 expenditures totaled approximately $304.2 million, increasing by 14.9 percent from FY 2009. DISAs Inmarsat and Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) contracts were the predominant contracting vehicles among DoD components, accounting for 80.9 percent of DoD MSS expenditures. Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) accounted for 33.0 percent of total Inmarsat expenditures in FY 2010.
From FY 2009 to FY 2010, EMSS expenditures grew 4.1 percent, from $78.6 million to $81.9 million. In FY 2010, a total of 70 million MSS airtime minutes were used, 8 million minutes for Inmarsat services and 62 million minutes for Iridium services. Army, Navy, and Air Force accounted for 88.2 percent of all reported MSS expenditures among all CC/S/As in FY 2010.
Efforts are underway at USSTRATCOM and DISA on the FY 2011 Annual Report, working on updating the format of the FY 2011 Annual Report to reflect changes in market and contracting realities (e.g., Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition [FCSA]). The majority of on-going DSTS-G requirements began transitioning to FCSA vehicles in February of 2011. In the coming weeks, each CC/S/A will receive the data validation packages from USSTRATCOM/DISA.