First off, let me apologize for that. Ever since President Trump and subsequently the Pentagon proclaimed the possibility that maybe the Department of Defense (DoD) might develop the United States Space Force sometime in the future, I couldn’t wait to use that line!
Anyway, as a retired Airman, and space science professor, I am truly excited about the prospect of a stand-alone Space Force. Now, I know there will be plenty of future debate about the pitfalls of adding more bureaucracy to the DoD and sharing scarce resources among the military branches, but I believe the idea needs serious consideration. But first, a short history lesson.
In 1907, the United States Army created the first antecedent of the Air Force called the Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps. Over the course of the next 40 years, the Army’s involvement with aviation grew substantially until the National Security Act of 1947. The National security Act of 1947 accomplished many post-war activities, most notably, however, the creation of the four branches of the military; Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Since that day, the United States Air Force has proven itself over and over again as the world’s premier air force.
Speaking of the United States Air Force, I believe it is following a similar path. There have been many instances in the Air Force’s 71-year history where a separate Space Force was suggested. In almost all instances, the idea was put aside. However, in 1982, the Air Force Space Command (AFSC) was activated. Today, the AFSC is responsible for military, NASA, and commercial space lift operations on both the east and west coasts. It is also the primary space force for the U.S. Armed Forces and culpable for command and control of all DoD satellites.
Maybe the world isn’t ready for a separate U.S. Space Force just yet, but if the current Secretary of Defense can change his mind and be swayed to join the “Dark Side” then there may still be hope for a separate space force…some might say “A New Hope!”
Sorry…can’t help myself!