The United States of America might be adding a whole new branch to the military – and it won’t even be on U.S. soil. In fact, it won’t even be on planet Earth. President Trump calls it Space Force.
Outer space is becoming the next frontier of research, technological discovery, and even warfare. America’s president and many officials are looking to create a space-based branch of the U.S. Armed Forces that can protect the country and accelerate its achievement. But what is the Space Force, exactly?
The Space Force was first proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in March of 2018. During a speech, he requested the establishment of a Space Force to act as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Officially, it would be called the U.S. Space Force.
“We will recognize that space is a new war-fighting domain with the Space Force leading the way”, said Trump in January of 2019. “My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer technology.”
Trump’s administration believes outer space is the next war zone. According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, the proposal is “critical to defending the United States’ energy grid and GPS network”. The Space Force would be dedicated specifically to space warfare services, but interestingly enough, would also act as part of the Department of the Air Force.
Job descriptions for someone serving in Trump’s Space Force could include astrophysicists, astronomers, astronauts, fighter pilots, computer technicians, and even GPS satellite builders. Opportunities for up and comers in the tech industry are sure to abound.
What Is Space Force’s Role Exactly?
The Space Force would become lead department for any space-related military operations. It would perform services such as:
- Shooting down missiles
- Detecting incoming enemy missiles
- Establishing space doctrine (rules and policies governing operations in outer space)
- Promoting education and leadership of space personnel
- Enforcing space policy
- Opening space-based facilities
- Maintaining its organization and training Space Force recruits
- All other space-based operations
What Does Creating Space Force Mean For You?
The Space Force would seek to protect the United States’ interests in outer space and on the ground using the space above our air. This means that parts of outer space could be used to serve the United States’ interests in national security or economics. This also protects the interests of the country’s allies.
Most importantly, Space Force would prevent any kind of air or GPS-based missile from landing in the United States. According to President Trump, “Any missile launches from hostile powers, or even from powers that make a mistake, it won’t happen again, regardless of the missile type or geographic origins of the attack: We will ensure that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above.”
The Space Force will be the USA’s new first line of defense against incoming enemy attacks. When completed, this will be a substantial new development in the country’s military services.
It should be noted that the proposed Space Force would not include other government branches such as NASA, NOAA, or NRO.
Why Does The United States Need A Space Force?
It is commonly believed that the next major international conflict might be brought to outer space. The U.S. government would like to be prepared for this future event by establishing a new branch of the United States Armed Forces dedicated solely to military matters in outer space.
In other words, it would be a branch solely dedicated to getting rid of GPS satellite-based threats and building more technologically advanced defenses.
Former Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan recently spoke to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on the ways Space Force can help accelerate the United States’ achievements in outer space, expanding on the capabilities the nation has already shown itself to be capable of. Shanahan says: “The United States is the best in the world at space, and our adversaries know it”.
How Much Will The Space Force Cost?
The Congressional Budget Office – the country’s most official accountants – are currently trying to figure out what the entire cost of the Space Force would be. Some have guessed that the establishment of this branch would cost $3 billion, while others think that price tag is too high. The Air Force itself released a $13 billion estimate for building the Space Force. It is no surprise that the opening of a branch in outer space would require a lot of research in government budgeting.
When Will Space Force Happen?
In May 2019, the House Armed Services Committee approved the opening of a new military branch for space. However, details are still being worked out. The resulting branch may not be exactly the same as it looked in Trump’s proposal. But, either way, the government is expecting some version of the Space Force to set up shop soon.
If the proposition is granted and ends up in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the Space Force will be open by 2023. If it is not included in the 2020 NDAA, legislators will continue to propose a Space Force in the following years. What’s guaranteed is that there will be a space-based branch of the military in play over the next few years.
What Else Can The Space Force Do?
Aside from providing protection for the United States in the event of space challenges, the Space Force could also give the United States a boost in the space race. While the Space Force and NASA would not exist under the same branch of government, they both seek to empower the United States’ capabilities in outer space.
The Space Force will be an example to the nation’s allies – and potential threats – that there is a proactive focus on developments into space.
The key benefits of the Space Force could include:
- Strengthening the country’s capabilities in a competitive domain
- Advocating for the pursuit of space exploration and technological advancement with less bureaucracy
- Training space-based military personnel with advanced equipment and cutting edge technology
Structuring The Space Force
When the United States Space Force is created, it will become the first new arm of the military in over 70-years. The last time America added a new military branch, it was to create the Department of the Air Force back in 1947, after the end of World War II.
The Space Force will be a huge department with several different chains of command. One section of this department would be led by a civilian leader and not someone who is a part of the U.S. Armed Forces.
If fully established, the Space Force would be the third of its kind in the world. The only other two space-defense departments in existence are the Russian Space Forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.