Do we really need a Space Corps?

The excellent defense reporting website Breaking Defense is reporting that the Air Force is engaged in political combat with the House Armed Services Committee, in particular the chairman of the Strategic Services Subcommittee, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama.  The cause of this fight is the brainchild, as Breaking Defense phrases it, of Rogers: an entirely new branch of the military, a U.S. Space Corps, to take responsibility for defending America in the coming battlespace out there beyond traditional air warfare altitudes.

The Air Force is adamant that no such branch is necessary, insisting that it is quite capable of managing, as it now does, its space battle sphere to include the realm of satellites and space stations. Newly appointed Air Force secretary Heather Wilson insists that her existing branch is already heavily invested in the concept of space warfare and is quite prepared to effectively continue this mission into the future as long as Congress provides the necessary funding.  Current Pentagon leadership appears to be unified in opposing this idea of an entirely new and independent service.

Critics point out that the United States Air Force split off from the United States Army almost seventy years ago, and they still have issues as to who's responsible for what.  Space Corps supporters point out the more than 200-year-old symbiotic relationship between our Navy and the Marine Corps, two very different services under the leadership of a single service secretary, the secretary of the Navy.  Following that model, Space Corps advocates would have their new service reporting to the existing Air Force secretary.  I would point out that the Navy-Marine model has a major flaw: it is quite easy to determine the dividing line between ocean and land mass, whereas no sandy beaches exist in space.

This old soldier is unconvinced that a need exists currently for such a move.  If future wars should shift their focus to a space battle area, then we should take another look at a special service branch, but for now, this is an idea still a bit too futuristic.  While I'm not now perfectly comfortable with our existing services' capabilities in this battlespace, we can improve our overall strategic capability through the concept of multi-domain operations, wherein we integrate the warfighting capabilities of all our existing forces into a seamless, deadly grunt's ground-to-space station killing machine.

Someone should tell Congressman Rogers his rocket's fizzling on the launch pad.

The excellent defense reporting website Breaking Defense is reporting that the Air Force is engaged in political combat with the House Armed Services Committee, in particular the chairman of the Strategic Services Subcommittee, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama.  The cause of this fight is the brainchild, as Breaking Defense phrases it, of Rogers: an entirely new branch of the military, a U.S. Space Corps, to take responsibility for defending America in the coming battlespace out there beyond traditional air warfare altitudes.

The Air Force is adamant that no such branch is necessary, insisting that it is quite capable of managing, as it now does, its space battle sphere to include the realm of satellites and space stations. Newly appointed Air Force secretary Heather Wilson insists that her existing branch is already heavily invested in the concept of space warfare and is quite prepared to effectively continue this mission into the future as long as Congress provides the necessary funding.  Current Pentagon leadership appears to be unified in opposing this idea of an entirely new and independent service.

Critics point out that the United States Air Force split off from the United States Army almost seventy years ago, and they still have issues as to who's responsible for what.  Space Corps supporters point out the more than 200-year-old symbiotic relationship between our Navy and the Marine Corps, two very different services under the leadership of a single service secretary, the secretary of the Navy.  Following that model, Space Corps advocates would have their new service reporting to the existing Air Force secretary.  I would point out that the Navy-Marine model has a major flaw: it is quite easy to determine the dividing line between ocean and land mass, whereas no sandy beaches exist in space.

This old soldier is unconvinced that a need exists currently for such a move.  If future wars should shift their focus to a space battle area, then we should take another look at a special service branch, but for now, this is an idea still a bit too futuristic.  While I'm not now perfectly comfortable with our existing services' capabilities in this battlespace, we can improve our overall strategic capability through the concept of multi-domain operations, wherein we integrate the warfighting capabilities of all our existing forces into a seamless, deadly grunt's ground-to-space station killing machine.

Someone should tell Congressman Rogers his rocket's fizzling on the launch pad.