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"An independent Space Force" Topic

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28mm Fanatik02 Oct 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

There's been some talk on TMP about the proposed "Space Force."

Do you support the creation of a separate space branch equal to the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard?

A. Yes, a branch devoted to "The Final Frontier" is long overdue and would only make space operations more efficient by consolidating the various space sub-commands from the other branches.

B. No, the current de-centralized arrangement is more than adequate. A separate space branch will only add an additional layer of bureaucracy competing for limited resources.

C. Not sure. Why not rename the Air Force the "Aerospace Force" instead?

D. No opinion. And this is treading close to Blue Fez territory.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

E – Stay with NASA – but beef it up

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 12:05 p.m. PST

B The Air Force has it under control. Way to early for a separate branch. This has nothing to do with NASA. Air Force handles the military aspect of space. NASA handles the exploration and yes NASA needs a bigger budget.

Thresher0102 Oct 2018 12:36 p.m. PST

A. Makes sense now, as needs grow, and technical sophistication increases. Not sure the USAF will be able to keep up with it all, or be objective about needs when budgetary issues and other concerns arise.

The USAAC didn't like being under the thumb of the army, either. Hence, the USAF.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

My guess is that they already have something and have had it for years. There was an interesting chapter in Tom Clancy's book on the Gulf Air War, Every Man a Tiger, where it talked about a space command that I had not heard about before. This was back before the year 2000, so the fact that we're just hearing something about it now means it's been in operation for awhile now.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Starfleet is more than good enough for me.

But we know from experience that the Airforce is more than capable to deal with it. I mean how many times did SG-1 save the planet? A dozen or so times?

SBminisguy02 Oct 2018 2:27 p.m. PST


1. Despite USAF's leading role in space, each branch of the military maintains its own separate satellite programs and R&D projects. USAF, USN and USA all have their own competing and overlapping programs.

2. Then there are assets outside traditional military control such as the NRO, NOAA and other departments with communications and remote sensing capabilities that should be organized along a "Civil Reserve Air Fleet" line, managed by one agency.

3. There is also no unified MilSpace policy or doctrine, it's scattered among USAF, DARPA, USN, etc.

4. Our primary competitors have already gone down this path, both Russia and China have their own Space Force branch of service.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 2:33 p.m. PST


zircher02 Oct 2018 4:29 p.m. PST

C – Because it seems like the logical choice while everything is Earth-based and light-speed delays are short. That will slide into A when the logistics change and the branch will feel more like the silent service and not a drone palace.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 5:13 p.m. PST

A. Way overdue as SBminisguy has pointed out. Too much bureaucratic infighting is getting in the way of progess

Parzival02 Oct 2018 5:13 p.m. PST

A. And thanks to all for keeping this from becoming D. (I suspect this has actually been in the works for a while anyway.)

But, yes, a separate force is a smart thing to do for the sake of efficiency and consolidation, and effective coordination of resources to meet the space needs of the various other branches. And I think it's best to get a start now, when we (hopefully) have time to iron out any rough spots so that when the pressure's on, we have a Space Force that can do the job.

Lion in the Stars02 Oct 2018 11:07 p.m. PST

@Rallynow: haha, no. HQAF has been stealing AFSpace's budget and giving it to Air Combat Command.

It probably would be good to get all the duplicated programs wrapped up into one agency and settled out, should save quite a few billion dollars (considering that a satellite is a couple billion dollars a whack!).

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 4:47 a.m. PST

I'll support just about anything that gets us more capability in space. If it's just more bureaucracy, then forget it. But if it produces more vehicles and more astronauts in space, then go for it. I'd prefer a greater non-military presence, but I'll take anything I can get.

USAFpilot03 Oct 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

F. There are smart people in the "space" field looking into this right now. Let the experts weigh the pros and cons of having a separate space force and report back to the President.

Dynaman878903 Oct 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

They would probably spend a billion just to decide where at the Joint Chiefs table the head of this program would sit. Another couple billion to get them a separate building or wing, another billion or so to decide what the ranks of the organization would be called, another billion to come up with a different name from "Space Cadet" for their boot camp people.

So B.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 10:15 a.m. PST

Dynaman, don't forget the nifty new uniforms! At least another billion for those!

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

As long as they have the co-ed showers from Starship Troopers, who cares!

28mm Fanatik03 Oct 2018 11:54 a.m. PST

What the creation of a separate but equal space branch would mean is that defense-related space programs would get higher prestige/political clout and a much larger slice of the defense budget by virtue of its very existence. The Space Force will fight for its funding and the salaries of its staff just like the other services, instead of relying on the discretion of the service branches they're part of as to how much is spent on space programs.

Proponents of a Space Force believe that space programs are chronically underfunded and so must gain independence from their patron services, which underfund these programs due to inherent and institutional bias in favor of their own pet projects, such as fighter planes for the Air Force and ships for the Navy. They can't help it. It's the nature of the beast.

A separate Space Force will ensure that space programs are no longer "neglected" as they have been in the past.

Opponents of a separate Space Force argue that the realm of space does not yet warrant a separate branch because space programs only provide force-multiplying "support services" (like intel and navigation) to the other service branches or civilian agencies such as the the CIA and NSA. There can be no "Star Wars" space lasers or other weapons that would violate international non-proliferation or militarization of space conventions like the Outer Space Treaty.

By creating a self-perpetuating Space Force that would compete for funding with the other services, other programs/needs will inevitably suffer because there will be what economists call an "opportunity cost."

dBerczerk03 Oct 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

Perhaps F?

Wait for China and Russia to complete and field their respective Space Forces, and then model a U.S.A. Space Force on the Chinese and Russian models?

Dynaman878903 Oct 2018 12:38 p.m. PST

> Wait for China and Russia to complete and field their respective Space Forces, and then model a U.S.A. Space Force on the Chinese and Russian models?

That would be a switch from the normal practice at least.

28mm Fanatik03 Oct 2018 1:06 p.m. PST

Wait for China and Russia to complete and field their respective Space Forces, and then model a U.S.A. Space Force on the Chinese and Russian models?

That would be a switch from the normal practice at least.

Russia's space forces is part of the Russian Aerospace Forces, not a separate branch: link

China's "Strategic Support Force" is a separate branch: link

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 2:40 p.m. PST

The way the it was announced put me off it.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 5:26 p.m. PST


JimSelzer Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2018 12:08 p.m. PST


all the way

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