Friday, November 10, 2017

The United States Space Corps - Part XII: The Finale

The Congressional committee reconciling the differences between the House and Senate NDAA versions have finally axed the Space Corps as a provision. While this means that the new military branch will not be created for January 2019 the final NDAA, will contain language for the deputy SECDEF to have a federally-funded research and development centre not affiliated with the USAF  to examine the long-term prospects of creating a military department to deal with space.

There will also be significant changes to the relationship between the Air Force and space as a domain. The NDAA now includes a number of provisions taken from the Space Corps framework to fix what the conference report termed a "broken national security space enterprise." It places emphasis on "streamlining Air Force acquisition authorities, eliminating burdensome red tape, empowering a single accountable organization for space forces within the Air Force, placing renewed emphasis on the organization and management of space in the DoD, and holding the deputy secretary of defense responsible for the full and faithful execution of these improvements."

The legislation also eliminates multiple space authorities, including the Principal DoD Space Adviser and the Defense Space Council, instead consolidating authority within Air Force Space Command. The NDAA also strips Secretary Wilson of her role as primary space adviser to the secretary of defense.

While the dream of a Space Corps is now finished for the time being, there may be nothing preventing it from appearing in the future.

Sources: Space News / The Hill / Popular Mechanics

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