Space force

Why the Space Force deserves respect and an expanded mission

Nothing really illustrates how the Space Force – this new branch of the military service created by the old President TrumpDonald TrumpNevada County plans to count all ballots by hand Omarosa hit with K penalty for financial non-reporting and continued under President Joe BidenJoe BidenUngar-Sargon: Working class hardest hit by inflation Nevada County plans to count all ballots by hand Biden announces military B aid to Ukraine: report MORE – still fighting for respect than a recent story from Military.com. It appears that a Space Force captain was initially denied a military discount for active duty members offered by Spirit Airlines because the counter clerk did not believe Space Force was a true branch of military service.

It was only after a supervisor was summoned that the captain and his wife received the discount and were allowed to board their flight. A few days later, the officer received an apology email from Spirit Airlines. However, the incident illustrates that even entering its third year of existence, the Space Force struggles to gain public acceptance and even recognition.

Part of the problem is that while the Space Force is engaged in an important mission regarding the operation and defense of US space assets, none of it is considered worthwhile. Recently, the Space Force launched a pair of satellites designed to inspect other satellites in geostationary orbit, an important step in developing situational awareness in space. But this mission has nothing to do with, say, the recent raid that resulted in the death of the leader of the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, Russia recently tested a space weapon that created a debris field endangering the International Space Station (ISS), ironically a project in which Moscow is involved. In addition, China has tested a spacecraft capable of moving satellites, a large capacity for space junk. kidnapping but also to send operational enemy satellites crashing into the atmosphere. The Space Force has just launched a program called Orbital Prime which would develop the removal and recycling of space debris, but perhaps with a dual purpose of space warfare.

Satellites are also vulnerable to cyberattacks. With this fact in mind, the Space Force is soliciting industry for ideas to defend U.S. space assets from cyber warfare interference. “Space Force is particularly interested in technologies to autonomously defend the network, such as artificial intelligence systems capable of detecting and identifying intruders,” according to Space News.

Retired Air Force General Kevin Chilton has proposed that the Space Force be empowered to do more to defend US space assets and put those of its enemies at risk. He also proposes that the new service branch be tasked with supporting other branches of the military, primarily by providing real-time, near-instant reconnaissance of battlespaces in which the Army, Navy, Army of air and marine corps operate.

Chilton, who was not only a NASA astronaut but also commanded Air Force Space Command, suggests that Space Force Guardians need the same type of training as members of other service branches. simulators that will ensure their preparation to decisively defeat our adversaries. The first time they encounter an enemy-led challenge should not be in real life, but in a high-fidelity simulation and exercise against an aggressor force trained and equipped to mimic adversary threats, as we do in Red Flag, Top Gun and the National Training Center. exercises,” he wrote recently.

Chilton’s suggestions would transform the Space Force from an esoteric organization that many people have never heard of into a true war-fighting military service branch. However, Space Force has another potential role to play, something that could end up saving the world.

The development of hypersonic vehicles by Russia and China capable of evading missile defense systems and attacking a target from any direction has become a matter of great concern for US military planners. Space Force could play a role in thwarting such attacks, perhaps by developing space-based phase-boost systems, an idea that dates back to the Strategic Defense Initiative proposal of the 1980s. system could also help repel attacks from rogue countries such as North Korea and Iran.

Imagine a future headline: Space Force shoots down nuclear missile launched from North Korea: millions of lives saved.

In such an event, the Space Force Guardians will no longer have to worry about being rejected by airport counter clerks. It is suspected that they will never be able to buy their own drinks again. Lifting the renewed threat of nuclear destruction would make all the controversy surrounding the Space Force valid.

Mark R. Whittington is the author of the space exploration studies “Why is it so difficult to return to the Moon?” as well as “The Moon, Mars and Beyond” and “Why Is America Going Back to the Moon?” He blogs at Curmudgeons Corner.