If you’re like me, then the guy in the picture saying, “Who’s Billy Mitchell?” is you. Well I looked up William “Billy” Mitchell, he was a Brigadier General in the Army and is considered the “father of the Air Force.” He was court-martialed for insubordination when he got mad at the top brass for buying battle ships instead of planes and aircraft carriers. There’s a lot to say about the guy but you can Wikipedia him if you’re interested, he was a thinker ahead of his time.
Despite all that, I can tell you that the guys trash talking him in the cartoon for stating that air power is the future of battlefield dominance were dead wrong. Now the same crowd is laughing at the thought of the newly announced Space Force. History repeats itself yet again.
America’s air superiority has given it an edge in almost every conflict since we started using planes. It really came to be our bread and butter with the inclusion of helicopters, which enabled us to rapidly maneuver troops into previously unobtainable positions. The branches that incorporated air power into their tactics have become indomitable elements of a combat theater. Think of all the times an airstrike has eliminated a target or an A-10 gun run has gotten a group of soldiers or Marines out of a bad situation. Our Apache and Cobra helicopters provide terrifying firepower based over-watch/attack capabilities and previous logistical nightmares have become a simple challenge with the help of our transport craft. Now we are in the age of drone warfare where air strikes and reconnaissance have become a simple remote task with the push of a button.
A Space Force has to start sometime and if we don’t start now, then when? One thing that came to my mind is how our funding of NASA has dropped considerably over the past decade. That being said, the United States spends more on its military than anything else; so hopefully the creation of a Space Force will enable new technological advances to be made in the field of space travel and exploration. This may be the push that moves us into a long-needed age of man now that the planet has become a crowded scramble for natural resources. It’s hard to speculate just where the program will go, or if it will even get off the ground, but it’s a good thing we are taking the initiative.