Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The United States Space Corps - Part VIII

The U.S. Senate plans to begin to discuss it's version of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act this week. Its provisions include the creation of a Chief Information Warfare Officer (CIWO) reporting to the SecDef with responsibility for DOD space, cyber and information programs. This contrasts the House-passed plan to create a Space Corps. Should the Senate proposal survive debate, then the debate between chambers will be one to watch.

Sen Bill Nelson, then NASA Payload Specialist
Sen. Bill Nelson, has filed an amendment to scuttle any attempts by the House to create a Space Corps by prohibiting that or any other type of new corps in the services.

Last week Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews U.S.A.F. (Ret.), vice president of DXC Technology‘s U.S. public sector enterprise security solutions group, has said other priority areas for the U.S.A.F. and DoD are at risk of being sidelined due to discussions on the creation a Space Corps. He wrote that developing U.S. space capability should concentrate on situational awareness as the current budget calls for the Air Force to spread its resources across several mission areas.

Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said the creation of a Space Corps would lead to “enormous upheaval” without solving the key problems faced by the national security space enterprise today. While she admitted that the U.S.A.F. still has “a long way to go” with regards to efforts to adapt the space mission to current threats, she insisted the formation of a Space Corps would not help any of those efforts.

Meanwhile Rep. Mike Rogers continued to argue that he time is now to create a Space Corps, or something akin to it. “The Air Force is as fast as a herd of turtles as far as space is concerned,” he said, adding that a Space Corps would be a better steward of space matters than the Air Force, because there would be no competing interests as there are now with space falling under the Air Force’s aviation-focused structural umbrella. The Air Force’s inability to put space first has created acquisition and operational problems, he said. “I don’t think the Air Force can fix this. You can’t have two No. 1 priorities. The Air Force is focused on air dominance, as it should be.”

Sources: Air Force magazine / The Washington Examiner / Space Policy Online.com / Govconwire.com / Spacenews.com / Breaking Defense

No comments: