Apr
05
2017

Coming soon-ish: a US military ‘Space Force.’

My wife feels that this should be called the ‘Space Patrol:’ I do not so much agree as I concede that calling it the ‘Solar Patrol’ would be at best premature. But this is gonna happen. Maybe in this Presidential administration, maybe not: if it doesn’t happen by the end of the next one I’m going to be shocked. There’s just a trend-line there:

Rep. Mike Rogers said the U.S. Air Force needs a separate “Space Corps” to handle military operations in orbit, as a first step in creating a completely separate military branch.

“We have to acknowledge that the national security space structure is broken,” the Alabama Republican said in a Tuesday morning speech at the 33rd Space Symposium. “It’s very hard for a government bureaucracy to fix itself, and that’s exactly why congressional oversight exists. It’s the job of the Armed Services Committee to recognize when the bureaucracy is broken and to see that it’s fixed.”

Obligatory disclaimer: my wife is DoD and works on space stuff, to the point where if I was still doing politics I wouldn’t be linking to this article. But since I’m not I’m just going to point out that there’s nothing sacrosanct about space, and nothing inherent that’s really stopping people from messing around with our stuff that’s in orbit. Plus, a crowbar from space can wreck your whole day.

So expect that the military is going to end up with a force with a dedicated budget for space activities.  Both defensive and offensive, although nobody’s going to admit that last part.  And you should expect it, if for no other reasons than the fact that civilian American space companies are going to start screaming for protection the first time that somebody messes with their stuff…

10 Comments

  • Jay says:

    “American space companies are going to start screaming for protection the first time that somebody messes with their stuff…”

    Reminds me of the Navy when press gangs and Barbary Pirates were a problem.

  • Luke says:

    Well, the Air Force has thoroughly shown that it isn’t interested in anything except overpriced fighters. And is perfectly willing to cannibalize every other program in pursuit of them.

    • acat says:

      At the risk of getting too close to politicking .. *every* *single* *airframe* developed after the A-10 has been “the one that replaces the Warthog” ..
      .
      Personal *opinion* .. I would prefer a “space navy” ala Traveler …
      .
      Mew
      .
      .
      .
      p.s. and yes, ala “Space Battleship Yamato”

      • Luke says:

        It’s a sad thing when stating an obvious truth is a political act.
        .
        But as long as we’re doing that, I feel the need to point out that airframes 4 decades old performed at a level the human body cannot endure. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on what is a marginal improvement *at best*, is nothing short of foolishness.

  • junior says:

    When people criticize this, it’s probably worth pointing out to them that when we eventually go to war with a space-capable enemy, GPS satellites are going to be one of the first casualties.

    People whine about “not militarizing space”. But it’s too late for that. Just because there aren’t lasers and mass drivers in orbit doesn’t mean that there aren’t already a lot of high value military targets.

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