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  • US Space Force

    The US Space Force became active within the last year - its flag was unveiled yesterday. It is part of the Department of the Air Force, in the same way The Marine Corps is part of the Navy Department. As many Marine Corps Support functions are provided by the Navy, many of the support functions of the Space Force will be provided by the Air Force. Right now there are about 16,000 uniformed Personnel, who were all in the Air Force. In 2022 Army and Navy personnel will also be transferred.

    Link to Wikipedia article below.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Space_Force

    By clicking on the the links and embedded links, this is what I found particularly interesting:

    1. The Boeing X-37, a reusable robotic space vehicle, seems to be the crown jewel of the service. The article mentions a proposed variant which could contain 6 astronauts in the cargo space.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

    2. The basic assets of the Space Force.

    excerpt

    As of mid-2019, as regards actual satellites in orbit being operated and controlled by the then-AFSPC, the Air Force reported that there were four Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications; one ATRR; five Defense Meteorological Satellite Program; six Defense Satellite Communications System satellites; five Defense Support Program; 31 Global Positioning System satellites; four GSSAP; five Milstar communications; seven Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS, infra-red, launch warning); two SBSS; and seven WGS.[13] The Boeing X-37B and its low-profile missions also represent a significant U.S. orbital asset. The fifth and latest X-37 mission, USA-277, was launched on 7 September 2017, and was the longest X-37 mission to date,[14] landing on 27 October 2019 after 780 days in orbit.[15][16]

    On 12 March 2019, the Space Development Agency (SDA), a new space-focused development agency, additional to the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, was established.[17] It was established under the authority of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.[18] As of January 2020, the SDA is planned to become part of the U.S. Space Force in October 2022.[19]

    In early April 2020, a list of twenty-three units to be transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force was publicly reported.[20] Those units included the 17th Test Squadron, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; 18th Intelligence Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH; the 25th Space Range Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO; the 328th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV; the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO; Operating Location A, 705th Combat Training Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colorado (ultimately part of the 505th Command and Control Wing); the 7th Intelligence Squadron, 659th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, 70th ISR Wing, Ft. Meade, Maryland*; Sixteenth Air Force/Advanced Programs*, Schriever AFB, Colorado; the 32nd Intelligence Squadron, Ft. Meade, Maryland*; the 566th Intelligence Squadron, Buckley AFB, Colorado*; the 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Group Staff & Detachment 5, Peterson AFB, Colorado; Detachment 1, USAF Warfare Center, Schriever AFB, Colorado; the 533d Training Squadron, 381st Training Group, Vandenberg AFB, CA (initial training); the National Security Space Institute, Peterson AFB, CO National Security Space Institute, a place for space education; the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Research Lab Mission Execution, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio*; the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico*; the AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division, Edwards AFB, CA; the AFRL Electro-Optical Division, Maui, Hawaii & Kirtland AFB, New Mexico*; the AFRL Sensors Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio*; the Counter-Space Analysis Squadron and the Space Analysis Squadron, collectively half of the Space and Missiles Analysis Group, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, both at Wright-Patterson AFB; the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 4, Peterson AFB, CO; and the Air Force Safety Center – Space Safety Division, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

    3. Given the nature of bureaucracies, not surprisingly, some people are getting all excited about what the ranks should be. I'm no military rank theorist, but what's wrong with keeping air force ranks?

    https://spacenews.com/space-force-so...ame-and-ranks/

    excerpt from spacenews.com

    “We want to provide space professionals the opportunity to influence what the members of our new service will be called,” said Lt. Gen. DT Thompson, U.S. Space Force vice commander. “We want to ensure those who will serve in the Space Force have a say when it comes to important organizational and cultural identity considerations.”

    The Space Force provided some guidelines respondents must consider when submitting ideas. For example, proposals must be gender-neutral, distinctive and should emphasize a future-oriented military force. In addition, submissions cannot violate copyrights, infringe on trademarks or other intellectual property rights, or be proprietary. Any submission falling into those categories will not be considered. Submissions must also be in good taste.

    After the submission deadline closes, a panel of Space Force officials will review inputs. A final decision on the new Space Force member moniker will be made by senior Space Force leaders and will be announced publicly at a future date.



  • #2
    from breakingdefense.com : China In Space: Does US Contest Or Cooperate?

    link below

    https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/...-or-cooperate/

    excerpt
    China’s ASAT ambitions have been well documented,
    most recently by two studies on global counterspace developments
    — authored respectively by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Secure World Foundation (SWF). The studies, released at the end of March, found substantial open-source evidence of a variety of Chinese efforts to develop counterspace-related technology — from radio-frequency jamming to lasers for blinding satellites to ground-based missiles to on-orbit ‘killer satellite’ techniques.

    The studies differ slightly on the level of the threat constituted by those efforts, however, based on the state of technological progress.

    SWF’s “Global Counterspace Capabilities” was the more cautious of the two, saying that that China’s ability to destroy satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO, up to 2,000 kilometers in altitude where most observation satellites operate) “is likely mature and likely operationally fielded on mobile launchers.” The premier ASAT weapon thought to be in the PLA’s arsenal is the SC-19, which experts believe is modeled on the DF-21C ballistic missile with a range of between 2,150 and 2,500 kilometers, SWF said.

    CSIS, in “Space Threat Assessment 2020,” sounds a much bigger alarm. China already “has started training” specialize units of the Strategic Space Force (SSF) using direct-ascent kinetic ASATs capable of destroying satellites, CSIS warns.

    Comment


    • #3
      America Really Does Have a Space Force. We Went Inside to See What It Does


      By W.J. Hennigan | Photographs by Spencer Lowell for TIME
      July 23, 2020 5:54 AM EDT


      American intelligence analysts have been watching a pair of Russian satellites, identified as Cosmos 2542 and 2543, for months. Or rather, they have been watching them since they were one satellite, deployed by a Soyuz rocket that took off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Nov. 26, 2019. It was 11 days after that launch that the first satellite split in two, the second somehow “birthed” from the other, and no one in the U.S. military was happy about the new arrival. By mid-January, both Russian satellites had floated near a multibillion–dollar spacecraft known as KH-11, one of the U.S. military’s most powerful spy tools, part of a reconnaissance constellation code-named Keyhole/-CRYSTAL. It wasn’t clear whether the Cosmos satellites were threatening or surveilling the KH-11, which is said to have the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope, but it turned out that was only the start of the twins’ surprises.

      After the U.S. expressed concern to Moscow through diplomatic channels early this year, the pair pulled away from the KH-11 and whizzed around the Earth at more than 17,000 m.p.h. Then, on July 15, with the U.S. analysts still tracking them, the “birthed” Russian satellite, Cosmos 2543, fired a projectile into outer space, General John “Jay” Raymond, the top general of the newly created U.S. Space Force, told TIME. It was the first time the U.S. military has publicly alleged an instance of a space-based antisatellite weapons test, a troubling new development in the emerging theater of orbital warfare.

      To Raymond and supporters of Space Force, which is the first new branch of the U.S. military in 72 years, Moscow’s “nesting doll” satellites, as the military has labeled the Cosmos triplets, represent a threat not just to one really expensive piece of American spy hardware but to the basic functioning of modern America itself. “Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems,” Raymond says.

      Whatever the Russian crafts’ -mission—and Moscow says it is purely peaceful—Raymond’s not wrong that Americans have come to rely on satellites in ways they hardly begin to appreciate. Even as the Cosmos 2543 was launching its projectile, Air Force satellites were performing a host of civilian tasks back home in the U.S. Streetlamps timed to global positioning system (GPS) spacecraft were turning on across the country, and businesses were relying on GPS to time-stamp credit-card purchases. Weather satellites were transmitting information for nightly forecasts. Many of the around 650,000 calls made to 911 every day in the U.S. depend on satellites overhead.

      But for all the ways that civilians and the military rely on it, America’s network of roughly 1,000 satellites is virtually unprotected. And just as lightly defended access to deep-water ports or natural resources was a source of war in the past, leaders and strategists worry that -America’s vulnerable satellite network is an invitation to conflict in our times. Raymond tells TIME that Russia executed a previous, unreported projectile launch in February 2017. China has started training specialized units with weapons that can blast apart objects in orbit. Both countries have deployed ground-based laser and communications–jamming equipment that can disable satellites.
      ...
      https://time.com/5869987/spaceforce/?utm_source=digg
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
      “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
      Present Current Events are the Future's History

      Comment


      • #4
        See also, thread;
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
        “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
        Present Current Events are the Future's History

        Comment


        • #5
          The all US long-range ballistic missile units should be transferred as well. That would make the remaining USAF all but superfluous and as a service should be returned to control of the Army. I doubt the USN would miss having the SSBN's under their control, and the USAF units wouldn't be afterthoughts when it comes to career and promotion like they are now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Link to US Space Force Web Site.

            https://www.spaceforce.mil/
            Last edited by lakechampainer; 13 Aug 20, 07:10.

            Comment


            • #7
              Star Trek's Captain Kirk calls out Space Force in rank debate
              ....
              William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, doesn't want to see a future where the real-life Space Force has colonels in command of spaceships.

              Shatner delivered an op-ed in Military Times on Wednesday titled "What the heck is wrong with you, Space Force?" It's even more entertaining if you imagine him reading it in his distinctive cadence and voice.

              The Canadian-born actor suggests Space Force should use a Navy-style rank (captain) for ship commanders rather than Air Force or Army nomenclature (where the equivalent rank is colonel). In the missive, he calls out the long history of captains on spaceships in science fiction. He even goes all the way back to seminal 1902 space film A Trip to the Moon, which featured a rocket captain.
              ....



              https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...7?ocid=msnbcrd
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
              “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
              Present Current Events are the Future's History

              Comment


              • #8
                A good probability they might have to deal with this ...

                If: "The Truth is Out There" & includes a "Them" from other worlds ;



                There's a good chance that "politics" will enter the equation of Disclosure and Contact;
                ExoPolitics
                https://exopolitics.org/
                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                Present Current Events are the Future's History

                Comment


                • #9
                  I always think of the 90s series 'Above and Beyond' when I think of Space Force. That or 'Star ship Troopers'.
                  "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thing is that the movie "StarShipTroopers" had very little in common with the book. The book is a much better and thoughtful read.
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                    Present Current Events are the Future's History

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                      Star Trek's Captain Kirk calls out Space Force in rank debate
                      ....
                      William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, doesn't want to see a future where the real-life Space Force has colonels in command of spaceships.

                      Shatner delivered an op-ed in Military Times on Wednesday titled "What the heck is wrong with you, Space Force?" It's even more entertaining if you imagine him reading it in his distinctive cadence and voice.

                      The Canadian-born actor suggests Space Force should use a Navy-style rank (captain) for ship commanders rather than Air Force or Army nomenclature (where the equivalent rank is colonel). In the missive, he calls out the long history of captains on spaceships in science fiction. He even goes all the way back to seminal 1902 space film A Trip to the Moon, which featured a rocket captain.
                      ....



                      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...7?ocid=msnbcrd
                      I'd say a mix would be best. Some navy-style rank for ship crews and command with Army / Marine ranks for other positions. Add in a set of purely technical ranks for those in support positions. This would give three career paths to people in the service that are separate and in turn allow each path to not have to compete with the other two.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Geopolitics & Space Force

                        ....
                        In the first half, geopolitical analyst Brandon Weichert spoke about the creation of America's sixth branch of the military, the US Space Force, and why he believes it's the country's last chance to preserve the superpower status it fought two world wars and the Cold War to build. The Trump administration has done a lot to develop the Space Force (which was passed by an act of Congress), though another president might try to undercut the program from within, he cautioned. Weichert sees the 21st century as being all about space power and believes that maintaining and expanding such a force is essential. He suggested that Russia and China have already weaponized space to some degree in the form of co-orbital satellites that can tailgate US satellites and potentially push them out of their orbit.

                        A potential war in space could knock out or disrupt cell phone service, he noted. In such a conflict, satellites could be attacked by lasers or missiles, and the subsequent debris field might damage additional orbiting objects. Eventually, he said, "we're going to need to develop a strategy for putting actual Space Force members in orbit to man military space stations," which would make it harder for countries like Russia and China to knock out US satellites. A deterrent to nuclear attacks, he added, would be putting up a viable space-based missile defense system. Weichert reported that China has become very interested in space-based solar power, and may want to use it to provide energy to contentious man-made islands in the South China Sea. Establishing a robust US Space Force, he added, will also be helpful for the burgeoning fields of space mining and tourism.
                        ...
                        https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2020-09-09-show/

                        See also;
                        THE WEICHERT REPORT

                        https://theweichertreport.wordpress.com/

                        Space Force must make satellite defense a priority, ensuring protection against Russia and China


                        In my July 13, 2020 op-ed for The Washington Times, I warn about the threat a Russian or Chinese Space Pearl Harbor–and advise the new Space Force how to best defend us from that.

                        https://theweichertreport.wordpress....sia-and-china/
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                        “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                        Present Current Events are the Future's History

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some thoughts not just about the rank structure but about the mission.

                          https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order...les-will-tell/
                          Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                          Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
                            Some thoughts not just about the rank structure but about the mission.

                            https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order...les-will-tell/
                            Thanks for the interesting find of a thought provoking and insightful article. Select excerpts follow with my comments, in blue 'ink'.
                            Title:
                            Order from Chaos
                            Is Space Force meant to “look down” or “look out”? Titles will tell
                            Michael Sinclair
                            Wednesday, September 16, 2020
                            ....
                            Actually, more than titles will tell ...
                            ....
                            Over the last two weeks, there has been much written about whether America’s fledgling Space Force should use naval ranks to organize its structure and hierarchy, or stick with the traditional rank titles of its parent service, the U.S. Air Force. The issue is subject to draft legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives (technically subtitle C of Title IX of the upcoming annual National Defense Authorization Act). This so-called “Starfleet Amendment” would require the Space Force to use naval ranks. There are principled, reasoned arguments on both sides, and even William Shatner, who for over 40 years has played the fictional Star Trek universe’s most famous and accomplished starship captain has weighed in — unsurprisingly in favor of incorporating a more sea-going rank structure.

                            Those who argue in favor of keeping Air Force ranks — I’ll call them traditionalists for simplicity’s sake — generally believe that military space defense and control operations (and increasingly space dominance) has its roots primarily in the culture of the Air Force. Thus, to help protect the clear overlap between air and space missions, keeping the same rank structure makes the most sense to help facilitate close cooperation between the Air Force and the Space Force. There is also apparently some concern that trending too closely to science fiction tropes could undercut the legitimacy of the Space Force, just as it’s getting off the proverbial ground.

                            On the other side of the argument, are those — let’s call them optimists — who are more interested in “leaning in” to the distinction between Space Force and Air Force missions and, for that matter, culture. In advocating on behalf of naval ranks, these optimists hope that doing so will help separate the Air Force and Space Force in much the same way that the Marine Corps (which uses a land-based rank structure that ostensibly has the advantage of facilitating operations with its Army counterparts) and Navy, are separate. More substantively, the optimists are also seemingly more likely to take a long view, in that they acknowledge that outer space, as a domain, shares more in common with the maritime than the air, and thus are thinking forward to a future that will no doubt include manned ships to undertake sea-power-like missions, where naval ranks would make more sense than land-based ranks.
                            ....
                            Some red highlights (click-links) will be found in original article, others are mine for emphasis.
                            ....
                            Leaving aside for now the relationship between the Space Force and Space Command, what underlies all of the discussion about which rank structure to use is the concern, on both sides, that this decision will help shape the culture, and in some respects, the likely functional prioritization of the service for the immediate years to come. That is of course the more important question, much more so than how we intend to refer to an E-5 or O-3 in the Space Force.
                            ....
                            There lies the main factor, the ranking and pay grades remain common to all USA military services, despite what "name" any may have.
                            ....
                            As the start to a solution, it may make sense to simply separate out functional areas using a broad distinction between “looking down” and “looking out.” The “looking down” mission space could include most of what the Air Force had been doing in space for more than the last 50 years — largely the exploitation of the domain to support terrestrial defense operations, be it advanced warning, missilry, ready access to precision navigation and timing information, communications, reconnaissance, imagery, or data collection/signals intelligence. This would also necessarily include the ability to defend against threats to these capabilities.

                            Alternatively, “looking out” would capture the near future of space operations, likely starting with the inevitable increase in cislunar traffic between the Earth and the moon, some of which will be manned. As the future space operations — both civilian and military — extend outward, there will of course be a foreseeable need to project military power into the expanse, hortatory languageof the Outer Space Treaty notwithstanding.

                            Further, applying this “looking down” versus “looking out” analytical paradigm may also help answer the question we started with regarding which rank structure to use, to which I’d propose: Why not both? Those Space Force members trained in executing “look down” missions could use a terrestrial rank structure because doing so marries nicely with their Air Force counterparts both in terms of mission execution and cultural legacy. And those who will eventually be trained to conduct “looking out” missions can use naval ranks, in recognition that “look down” functionality of the space domain is but one aspect of the broader potential of outer space. Both would be Space Force members, but their honorifics and titles would change based on their mission responsibilities, which could be visually depicted using easily distinguishable uniform patches or devices in addition to the traditional military collar insignia or striping. Indeed, developing uniformsthat employ either collar insignia or sleeve striping/shoulder boards may in fact be an easy way to accomplish this distinction in that the same uniform would simply use differing indicators of rank — collar devices for “look down”-type Space Force members and sleeve striping/shoulder boards for “look out”-type Space Force members.
                            ....
                            Use of a mission focus division of the two types of rank labeling makes sense to me, for now anyway. Down the road as the future developments play out, it could be revised if such is found essential.
                            ....
                            Ultimately, while the discussion over which type of rank structure the Space Force should use is interesting and arguably important to help shape the trajectory of the Space Force’s cultural identity, more pressing issues remain, including how the Space Force plans on collaborating with U.S. allies and other departments and agencies in the domain, the development of the necessary express statutory and legal authority to operate across the full spectrum of foreseeable space defense operations, deeper discussion on the interaction between commercial space and military space operations, realistic budgetary needs that will help insulate the Space Force from the specter of future de-prioritization within the Department of Defense, clarity around what role the Space Force will play in planetary defense, and of course furtherdoctrinal development. Thinking about organizing the Space Force using a “look down” and “look out” analytical paradigm may also help better frame these issues for further analysis as well.
                            ....
                            https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order...les-will-tell/
                            .........
                            A couple of main areas of concern focus to me would be;
                            1) The 'United States Space Force' (USSF) might likely be the core/foundation of a more organized international effort and organization along the lines of a space based "NATO" of sorts ....
                            2) The matter of "planetary defense" would include more than just a terrestrial focus. While large object impacts may seem rather rare in regards to the last few years of human recorded history, on the geological timeline they are rather frequent and often have major consequences (impact, pun intended). Developing and deploying capabilities for detection, deflection and/or destruction of major impact threats from beyond Earth should be a primary reason for an 'Earth Defense Space Force' and such could also be a major persuasion factor for the establishment and funding of such.

                            See this thread for more information and details;

                            Impact ~ NEO; Near Earth Objects

                            As for the commercial aspects and implications, these two threads are also great for additional information and considerations;






                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                            “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                            Present Current Events are the Future's History

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              More space news courtesy of our old friends at Strategy Page.

                              https://strategypage.com/htmw/htspac.../20200921.aspx
                              Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                              Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

                              Comment

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