Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
After 70 years, the U.S. government has finally signed into existence a new military service: Space Force.
“With my signature today, you will witness the birth of the Space Force, and that will be now officially the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces,” President Donald Trump announced at the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act on 20 DEC 2019 at Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs, Maryland.
The idea for creation of a modern Space Force was initially sparked at a Marine Corps rally in 2018 following a remark President Trump made about creating a new force within the military, and calling it “Space Force.” Despite criticisms made by skeptics who believed that the idea was unnecessary, President Trump instead began to work with the Pentagon to establish the sixth military branch of the United States.
With pointed strategic emphasis on the national security interests of the United States and its allies, President Trump spoke to hundreds of military members during a recent visit at Joint Base Andrews, stating that “Amid great threats to our national security, America’s superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough.” These comments come amidst rising U.S. tensions with China and Russia, two countries that have successfully tested missiles that could cause enormous damage to critical U.S. and allied navigation systems — impacting both military and civilian users of affected technologies.
While the announcement of Space Force’s creation has been greeted with excitement by many, numerous misconceptions also exist about what the actual functions of US Space Force will be. Joan Johnson Freese, a space security expert at the U.S. Naval War College, made it a point to explain that Space Force would not be fighting a “space war,” because current Department of Defense policies, doctrine and procedure directs the U.S. Space Command, which is a wholly separate joint command, to assume jurisdictional command and control in such an event.
Space Force’s creations allows for an original personnel allocation of 16,000 personnel, and stipulates a primary mission that charges it with protecting American technology assets such as satellites from hostile attacks. The creation of Space Force, as the British Broadcasting Channel noted, arises from the increasing threats posed by such adversarial nations as China and Russia in their contouring development of better missiles and an other ominous sky focused tactical munitions projects.
Nevertheless, interest and excitement from the public in joining the newly-formed command has thus far been overwhelming, according General Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, United States Air Force. Officials from the US Air Force have issued recent guidance indicating that a recruitment page would be launching on the USAF’s www.airforce.com website as early as the 01 JAN 2020. “There’s an incredible excitement across our service about the Space Force,” Raymond said. “This is an exciting time to be in our business.”