Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
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Air Force Association Proposes Alternative to Space Force

Air Force Association Proposes Alternative to Space Force

She told those in attendance that "to face the world as it is, with a rapidly innovating adversary, the Air Force we need should have about 25 percent more operational squadrons in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe than the Air Force we have". The idea was not welcomed by the Pentagon, which already was resisting efforts in Congress to create a Space Corps within the Air Force like the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy.

"The process that we are going through is to put together a plan that we can carry forward for legislative proposal and what I would tell you is, there is no group think in the Pentagon", Shanahan said Wednesday at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space and Cyber conference.

Some took to social media asking how the Air Force plans to do all this, especially with an uncertain financial future. In general, proponents of a new force have argued that the Air Force has not done enough to prioritize space and that its other missions distract it from its focus on the world above.

Wert said that Section 804 was "amazing" for agile software development where the end user helps shape and iterate the capability, because it allows fielding of minimally viable products in a few months. But rather than establishing a sixth military branch devoted to space defense, AFA instead supports the creation of a U.S. Aerospace Force that would combine the Air Force and the proposed Space Force.

In a detailed memo submitted on Friday to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Wilson provided the first glimpse into the potential cost, size and makeup of a military branch for space.

Shanahan, the deputy secretary of Defense, had suggested taking interim steps until Congress creates a standalone space force.

Adding 74 squadrons (each squadron typically has 12 to 24 aircraft) would require an additional 40,000 personnel, both military and civilian, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said, leaving the Air Force with a headcount of about 725,000 by 2030, compared to the current projection of roughly 685,000.

The memo estimates that the space force would add 13,044 personnel to Pentagon rolls, including more than 7,900 space force officers and enlisted service members.

"That should be what the country wants their leadership of the Air Force to do", she said.

"The President has clearly communicated his desire for a military department for space", she wrote.

"It's reasonable that the Air Force is doing studies about its future", he said, as reported by Flightglobal.

The memo calls for keeping all current space personnel in the Air Force and other services "until Congress establishes the new Department of the Space Force", an approach that could delay cuts in Air Force operations.

Trump wants a dedicated space force to tackle defense threats in space and protect valuable military and intelligence hardware, such as satellites, from attack by rivals such as Russian Federation and China.

Driven by these trends, the US military has focused on improving its defenses in space so it can better defend against and counter an attack on its space assets.

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