- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

Donald Walker said he is using his 30 years of experience in the field of space systems to help government departments get the best use out of current and developing space programs.
The former brigadier general for the U.S. Air Force has joined the Aerospace Corp., a federally funded nonprofit company in El Segundo, Calif., that conducts space systems analyses, to serve as vice president of national space systems engineering.
Mr. Walker works out of the Washington office and advises senior officials of government customers, such as the Defense Department, on a range of issues concerning space systems.
"What I do is provide an objective analysis and technical advice to government heads, provide sort of a lessons learned and archived information, and also give lab expertise solutions that go across the boards to other programs and cut down on wastes of taxpayer money."
Mr. Walker also helps pick which space systems to further develop, a challenge on limited funding. "There is so much technology out there and so many ways to do a mission or program that I look at how I can integrate space systems with ground and air systems to get the best product and do so within the restraints of funding given," he said.
One of his main issues will be enhancing space systems to help fight the war on terrorism. "After September 11, we have come to a critical time for defense in this country and space systems are going to play a key role in helping defend our nation and our war fighters."
Mr. Walker said the military has too many space systems or terminals to get information. "War fighters are using 'stovepipe' systems that are complicated and don't send all the information to one terminal," he said. "So they may have to go to one terminal for weather, another for navigation and another for intelligence."
Mr. Walker said the transition to his new job was "easier than most people would have because I worked with Aerospace while I was in the Air Force on a number of projects."
Rodney Gibson, senior vice president of systems planning and engineering at Aerospace, said the company gained a valuable entity in the space community with Mr. Walker's hiring.
"Don has been in the space industry for many years and he worked with the corporation quite a few times while he was in active duty that he had a good understanding of our corporation," said Mr. Gibson, Mr. Walker's employer.
Mr. Walker said he brings different perspectives from his experience with the Air Force, as a president of ITCO, an information technology company, and as an independent consultant on intelligence and defense space systems.
"I understand the perspective of the government and the commercial side to space systems, and it helps me to give a more objective analysis of where a space system stands."
Mr. Walker lives in on Capitol Hill with his wife, Barbara.

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