US President Donald Trump just delivered a speech to the US Marines in San Diego. In his speech, he announced his support for a new branch of the military called the Space Force.
“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” declared Trump. “We may even have a Space Force, we’ll develop another one … we have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force. We have the army, the navy …”
This is not the first time this idea has been floated. It was floated last year when the House Armed Service Committee, Led by the Republican Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Democrat Jim Cooper, proposed a new branch of the military called the US Space Corps.
The legislation was not accepted and faced a lot of criticism at the time as it was deemed unnecessary as a division of the US Air Force called Air Force Space Command is already fulfilling the function of the Space Force. When the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was passed by the US Congress in November, they left out the Space Force.
However, the bill was still being pushed by the House Armed Service Committee. Many in the military are resistant to the idea of a new space arm, with chief of US Strategic Command, Air Force General John Hyten, suggesting last November that while reform to eliminate bureaucracy is necessary to stay ahead of the Russians and Chinese, the idea of a Space Corps is wholly unnecessary.
“I don’t think we need a Space Corps,” said Hyten at a security forum in Canada. “I had a boss one time that told me that you don’t need a space corps until you’ve got X-Wing fighters. That’s about the timing I think you would need when you get the need for a Space Corps. It just adds more bureaucracy.”
Trump might have declared his support for the cause but he is unaware of the progress made towards this goal. In his recent speech, he continued, “You know, I was saying it the other day, because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, I said maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the ‘Space Force.’ And I was not really serious, and then I said, ‘What a great idea maybe, we’ll have to do that, that could happen.'”
Who knows we might actually see it become a reality.