When President Donald Trump spoke about a Space Force, some mocked it and acted like it was a silly concept.
But Trump just made it a reality, founding the first new military service in seventy years, since 1947 and the official launch of the Air Force.
How do we know it’s official? Well it even has a Twitter account now!
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 21, 2019
— Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (@SecAFOfficial) December 21, 2019
From Daily Caller:
“Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Trump said Friday during a signing ceremony. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
Space Force won’t be putting troops in space, according to the Associated Press. It also won’t be its own military department, instead operating under the Secretary of the Air Force. Space Force’s leader will be the commander of U.S. Space Command Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond, according to Trump.
The new military service will start with around 200 people and have a $40 million budget for its first year. This is small compared to other American military services. The new service will provide force to U.S. Space Command, which was formed earlier in 2019. It’s still not clear how the Space Force and U.S. Space Command will divvy up roles.
So what does the Space Force actually do and why do we need it?
It’s actually an idea that’s been kicked around for awhile, as Space.com noted in 2018, which is about establishing a force dedicated solely to protecting our interests in space for national security reasons, including “preserving the satellites and vehicles that are dedicated to international communications and observation.”
If we think about how vital satellites have become for our daily communication and operation, we can conceive how important that might be if it were attacked or disrupted, and how important it would be to have a coordinated and dedicated defense.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday, “Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a warfighting domain of its own.” Maintaining dominance in space, he said, will now be Space Force’s mission.
Space has become increasingly important to the U.S. economy and to everyday life. The Global Positioning System, for example, provides navigation services to the military as well as civilians. Its constellation of about two dozen orbiting satellites is operated by the 50th Space Wing from an operations center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
According to Space.com, Russia and China have already established their own forces.
Russia revived the Russian Space Forces in 2015 as a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces. In the same year, China established the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force as the space and cyberwarfare branch of the People’s Liberation Army.
That poses obvious concerns and threats.
In 2007, for example, China launched a missile that climbed skyward for 500 miles until it impacted one of the country’s own defunct weather satellites, which rained down in thousands of pieces. In a similar unnerving event in 2014, a piece of supposed Russian space junk called Object 2014-E28 turned out to be an autonomous robot of sorts that was capable of docking onto satellites.
During his August 2018 address, Pence said that China was investing in hypersonic missiles capable of evading U.S. detection. And both Russia and China had integrated anti-satellite attacks as part of their wartime protocols.
Given that the U.S. government and military rely heavily on satellites for forecasting weather, collecting high-resolution images for intelligence and directing missiles with GPS satellites, the threat became obvious.
Once again, one might note, Trump is not only anticipating the future and defending America, but doing something a “Russian asset” wouldn’t do.