President Trump's Space Force Becomes a Reality

A while back I wrote about President Donald Trump's plan to create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

A number of readers commented on the idea. About 50 percent of you were for it and 50 percent were against it.

Some of those in favor said it's a long-overdue strategic idea. And that it may be just the thing to keep us ahead of our enemies.

Those against the idea said that those funds can be better spent elsewhere. One of you even suggested that we send Trump up into space instead.

Controlling the Ultimate High Ground

Regardless of what any of us thinks about the idea, it has happened. And it's even taking big steps forward. Trump's recently signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to establish the U.S. Space Force (USSF) as an official armed forces branch.

Here's what the president had to say during the signing ceremonies at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

"It was nearly half a century from Kitty Hawk to the creation of the Air Force," he said. "And now it's 50 years after Apollo 11 that we create the Space Force."

He added, "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground."

Headquartered at the Pentagon

The USSF is the first new military branch created since the U.S. Air Force in 1947. Approximately 16,000 Air Force active duty and civilian personnel will be assigned to this branch.

Like the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, the Space Force will be headquartered at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

And similar to the Marine Corps, which is part of the Navy but has its own seat on the Joint Chiefs, the USSF will be part of the Air Force.

USSF responsibilities will include developing military space professionals and acquiring military space systems. As well as maturing the military doctrine for space power and organizing space forces.

To Do and Not to Do

Of course, there are already U.S. military operations in space. This branch will repackage and elevate these existing military operations.

Todd Harrison directs the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He said the USSF "will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space."

What will the USSF not do? It will not put U.S. military service members in space.

The new branch will be completely separate from NASA. It will not be responsible for protecting Earth from asteroids. Or aliens, for that matter.

Military Officials on Board

Trump said he will appoint General Jay Raymond as the first Chief of Space Operations.

Other U.S. military officials chimed in with their support of the USSF. They included Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force, and Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense.

"An agile, lean and technologically advanced force of talented professionals will now singularly focus on protecting our U.S. national interests and security in space," Barrett said.

"Our adversaries are building and developing capabilities to threaten us. So we can no longer take space for granted," Milley said.

"Space has become so important to our way of life, our economy and our national security. We must be prepared as a nation to protect it from hostile actions," Esper said.

Dissenters in Washington

As with our readers, not everyone in Washington believes this is a great idea.

Back when the concept was first floated, here's what Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida tweeted. "Military generals don't want a new military branch. Now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake."

Joan Johnson-Freese is a space security expert at the U.S. Naval War College. Originally she called Trump's vision for the USSF as "clear as mud."

Now that the vision has been clarified, she's on board with the idea. But she frowns on Trump's description of the branch as "the world's newest war-fighting domain."

Nixing the War Talk

"When the United States starts chest-thumping, all that does is prompt others to do the same," she said.

"And to bolster their capabilities, which in the long run can be counterproductive to the United States."

Johnson-Freese also pointed out that if there ever were a war conducted in space, the USSF would not be the branch fighting it.

Instead, it would be a separate joint command established earlier in 2019 called the U.S. Space Command.

What Do You Think?

As promised, I want to give you an chance to weigh in on this new armed services branch.

Are you in favor of its creation? Do you believe the benefits will outweigh the costs?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. As always, let's keep it civil and respect each other's opinions.

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Comments

Joyce Reinholds - January 30, 2020

President Trump is acting with great foresight in developing the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military. I appreciate his words as quoted in your article:

“It was nearly half a century from Kitty Hawk to the creation of the Air Force,” he said. “And now it’s 50 years after Apollo 11 that we create the Space Force.”

He added, “Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground.”

These are wise words that need to be heeded. I am glad President Trump was successful in implementing the Space Force. For me, this success takes away some of the sting and embarrassment of the impeachment proceedings our president has had to endure. The implementation also makes me feel a bit safer especially since there are great forces trying to destroy our nation from the inside. Would that President Trump could develop another force to protect us from such cynical opposition.

Beth Miller - January 30, 2020

In light of all the natural disasters occurring on our planet, I think we need to seriously to develop a plan for all of us to exit the planet, not just a select few. If this new group would eventually help implement that plan, then I’m all for it.

charlene - January 30, 2020

I think it is a good plan. Keeping America first, strong and safe are absolute priorities.

Gene DiBartolo - January 30, 2020

Of course it’s the right thing to do. Understandably the individual services are (and should be) generally parochial. The AF was part of the Army and until its designation as a separate service remained subservient to the Army ground mission. Once freed, the Air Force developed its current awesome capability. The Army retains a portion of its previous air support capability but relies on the AF for additional support (read: Warthog"). The AF and Marine examples show clearly the advantage of this new designation.

Luz Leida Diaz - January 30, 2020

I echo Einstein’s words when he said: “One can not prepare for and prevent war at the same time.”
As a mother and grandmother, I consider that Life is sacred. We are not the creators of Life, but the vehicles through which that life force is expressed. War is an aberration and rather than seeing the US in pursuit of weaponizing space I would like to see it becoming the leader for Peace. You might call me a dreamer, a peace-nut. But that is exactly what Jesus would want me to say. Somewhat unpopular, peace treaties these days, are superior and more in line with looking to understand others as we seek to be understood. I still think this is possible. Yes, I believe Miracles
are possible.

Terry Thompson - January 30, 2020

I believe it’s a positive thing that has jumped to the top of the class, it’s long over due,I’m very in favor of the new military Force, I would like to know more about what exactly the space force will be doing and less of what it’s not going to do! We should never put a cap on what a military Force will or will not do!! GO USA!!!

Frankie - January 30, 2020

This is not a “new” branch of the military. It is just a public acknowledgment that it exists.

Mike Gourde - January 30, 2020

I believe the U.S.A. should initiate a force in outer space that would encompass the entire globe. I have felt this way for many years, even as I watched Donald Trump dodge the military draft during the Viet Nam era. This president, the electoral college installed, has proven to be a threat to US, the United States of America. The U.S. Commander In Chief should never have the final word, for any type attack without the express permission of Congress, as it was intended by our brilliant forefathers. Now the sanctity of the US Senate appears to have caught the “bug” of dishonesty spewed by the filthy, Electoral College installed Donald Trump.

Derek Stone - January 30, 2020

We must lead the way in space. It is imperative. Using innovative technology and equipment we stay a step ahead of our enemies. Both China and Russia will try to steal our intellectual properties and duplicate them for themselves. Make no mistake, they want to destroy America, bring us to our knees. Thankfully, we have president TRUMP as our Commander in chief, who once again leads the way to keep us the number one country in the world. Thank you, President TRUMP…..

MJ1606 - January 30, 2020

I watched a man from NASA on Fox recently and he said in 15 years, people will look back at this and see it as President Trump’s greatest achievement. He said people that don’t like it are those who don’t understand it. He said all banking is done with GPS, and if it is ever shut down, all our banking activities would be stopped. He explained other things that are important to our everyday life that we don’t consider. Makes sense to me. And China is trying to get ahead of us in this.

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