United Space Force is Fully Organized

This past week the Air Force activated the Space Training And Readiness Command (STARCOM), to go with the Space Operations Command (SPOC) and Space Systems Command (SSC) which make up the United States of America Space Force.

Notice that I didn’t say “Trump’s Space Force”, as Commander in Chief of the U.S. military, it’s Joe Biden’s Space Force now. I laughed out loud when he declared soon after he took office that he was keeping the Space Force after his press Secretary, Jen Psaki, mocked it during a press conference. Some folks got so used to making fun of anything that Trump did and said that they often had to turn off their brains to do it.

Oddly formulated acronyms and Trump’s goofy messaging aside, the Space Force makes sense…and the fact that it blossomed during Trump’s tenure as President was as much about timing as it was about Trump’s tendency to take action on stalled, controversial ideas. Yes, I said “stalled”, since the Space Force had already been under discussion at the Pentagon since the Clinton Administration. The U.S. Air Force has been operating space related military activities for decades, however the need for a special sub-structure within the U.S. military to handle the ever-growing and unique training needs of those operations required its own command chain in time to train the officers and specialists who would work in it. The world is lining up at starting line of the next space race and this time it will play a formative enough role in this nation’s economy and military technology to draw the attention of it’s adversaries. This has already started to happen and as such that infrastructure will need protecting and things like military command structures take time to build.

After a compellingly persuasive interim report back in April of 2018 (that I think all critics of the Space Force should read), the Congress proceeded to pursue the plan that the defense department wanted, to establish this new branch of the military as a sub branch of the Air Force.

Stop giggling about space marines! I know…when we think of a Space Force we picture Storm Troopers or Starship Troopers, or the Marines on Aliens. However, right now the United States Space Force (USSF) is a very important intelligence gathering, satellite tracking, resource studying, and infrastructure security over watching thing. The threats and dangers to the United States “space warfighting domain” are not even located in space (yet). So no, I don’t think that the USSF has any current plans to shoot their way aboard the International Space Station looking to stop an infestation of parasitic aliens, or invade Mars, or probably not even occupy the Moon (at least not right away)…as cool as that imagery flashes in the minds of science fiction geeks like me.

For perspective…

  • What we have always called “Spy Satellites” have been Air Force things…now they are Space Force things.
  • The network of GPS satellites that we all use to find the “Arby’s Near Me” with our phones were actually put in orbit by the Air Force and exist as a strategic military asset, designed to be used not only for navigation, but for weapon targeting as well. The people who operate, upgrade, and protect the GPS system now work for the Space Force.
  • The new SpaceX super rocket (Starship and Dragon Super Heavy) that will fly to space later this year interests the Department of Defense as a means to deliver military hardware and supplies in less than an hour anywhere around the globe. The Space Force will be the ones pursuing that.
  • The SpaceX StarLink satellite network had already started being integrated into the U.S. warfighting capability, even before it became generally available to the rest of us. That integration into the communications infrastructure of all of the branches of the military, and any other use of satellite communications by the military, will now be supported by experts in the Space Force.
  • Any and all space-related military and economic facilities on the ground are already strategic targets for would-be enemies of the United States and are now protected in-part by the Space Force.

So that’s why Jen Psaki got the Biden Administration in hot water for a couple of days back in February when she publicly made light of the Space Force…because it is now a branch of the military. We can and should criticize what we might perceive as mistakes by Presidents and military commanders (like some are currently doing with the Afghanistan withdrawal), but actually disrespecting our armed services is usually considered over the top for a White House Press Secretary…and we probably shouldn’t do it either. Biden set her straight though, so we’re good. He handled it well.

Mocking Donald Trump was (and still is) fashionable, but The Space Force is an actual, active branch of the armed services from now on, staffed by our sons and daughters from the actual Air Force, doing serious and sometimes dangerous things to protect us. So please try and suppress the urge to giggle about the silly “STARCOM” and “SPOC” acronyms, as well as the iconography below. It’s just not funny.

I’ll stop giggling too.

BTW, the Air Force used the symbol first, so Star Trek probably copied them not the other way around. It most likely symbolizes a spear tip, not a warp field.

~ by Bill Housley on August 28, 2021.

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