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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.

    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.

    2. The basic assets of the Space Force.


    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?

    excerpt from

    “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 : China In Space: Does US Contest Or Cooperate?

    link below

    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.


    • #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.
      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


      • #4
        See also, thread;
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


        • #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.


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