Sunday, July 09, 2017

The United States Space Corps - Part I

As the US House House of Representatives Armed Services Committee prepares to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, their strategic forces subcommittee released proposed additions to the bill including a provision in their version of the 2018 US defense budget that would create a new separate military service dedicated to the cause of space as a warfare domain, calling it the United States Space Corps.

It is envisioned that this Space Corps would operate as a separate service represented at the Pentagon by a new Joint Chief but report to the Secretary of the Air Force and operate under their department just as the US Marine Corps do under the Department of the Navy.

The genesis of this idea spawned from a 2001 report from the Commission to Assess United States National Security, Space Management and Organization, which was headed by future SecDef Donald Rumsfeld. The report claims that "The US is more dependent on space than any other nation... Yet the threat to the US and its allies in and from space does not command the attention it merits."

The plan appears in the appropriations bill with the backing of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Republican Representative Mac Thornberry and the HASC ranking Democrat, Adam Smith and was put together by the ranking party members of the HASC's strategic forces subcommittee, Republican Representative Mike Rogers [left] and Democratic Representative Jim Cooper who claim that the USAF has not given adequate priority to space. US military interests in space have been traditionally administrated by the US Air Force.

In a statement, the subcommittee said: “There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding. We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems. Thus, Congress has to step in. We must act now to fix national security space and put in place a foundation for defending space as a critical element of national security.  Therefore, our Mark will require the creation, under the Secretary of the Air Force, of a new Space Corps, as a separate military service responsible for national security space programs for which the Air Force is today responsible.  We view this as a first, but critical step, to fixing the National Security Space enterprise.”

Reactions to this and the potential future of this proposal are outlined in Part II

Source: Ars Technica,,,

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