“The Ultimate High Ground”
Beam us up, Scotty. The United States now has a new sixth military service as President Trump signed the Space Force into being on December 20 at Joint Base Andrews right outside of Washington, D.C.
When the President signed off on the 2020 Defense Authorization Bill, he also established the Space Force, which for now will fall under the Department of the Air Force. The newly designated Space Force will be commanded by General John Raymond as the new Chief of Space Operations who, until December 20, headed the Space Command of the Air Force. This is the first new service since the Air Force was brought into being in 1947.
“We want to build this service to be lean and agile, we’re going to rely very heavily on support functions from the Air Force,” General Raymond said. He will now have a seat at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“There are thousands and thousands of actions that are going to have to take place. Everything from what does a uniform look like, to a logo, to who is in the Space Force and who is not in the Space Force, and that work has been planned and will continue to be refined,” he said, calling the historic moment Day One of the Space Force.
Barbara Barrett will be both the civilian Secretary of the Air Force and the head of the Space Force for at least the time being.
“There has been a planning team that has been building the phased construction of this force and the development of the force so that we have a plan at the 30, 60 and 90 … and the 120-day mark,” she said.
“This is a very big and important moment,” President Trump said, never at a loss for a big pronouncement. However, in this case, it may very well prove to be justified.
“Space — there’s going to be a lot of things happening in space because space is the world’s newest warfighting domain,” he said. “America’s superiority in space is absolutely vital, and we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, but very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
With the creation of the Space Force, the new service will inherit the 16,000 personnel from the Air Force’s Space Command, who will now be assigned to be part of the Space Force.
But the wording got a bit hazy as the announcement said that technically the troops will remain Air Force airmen until they decide whether or not to transfer to the Space Force. Air Force officials stated that they believe only 5,000-6,000 personnel will permanently transfer.
While all Space Operations are to be streamlined one day under the Space Force, Army and Navy personnel will not be allowed to transfer to the Space Force currently. Although certain Army and Navy personnel will be detailed to the Space Force headquarters as it is being fleshed out.
In regards to the uniforms, emblems, etc. General Raymond was quick to point out that those details were all being worked out. “It’s going to be really important that we get this right. A uniform. A patch. A song. It gets to the culture of the service,” Raymond said. “So we’re not going to be in a rush to get something, and not do that right. There’s a lot of work going on towards that end. I don’t think it’s going to take a long time to get that done, but that’s not something we’re going to roll out on day one.”
(While most may expect a Star Trek type of uniform, these Starship Troopers uniforms were quite stylish, too.)
Raymond also said that there is a plan in place to rename some of the Air Force bases that house Space Force troops, now being referred to as Space Operators (heaven help us) to “Space Bases”. Four of those bases are in Colorado, with one each in California and Alabama. The principal among them are Vandenberg AFB in CA. and Peterson AFB in Colorado which was home to Air Force Space Command.
Recruitment and training will continue to be handled by the Air Force.
Space. The final frontier indeed…