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Old 07-04-2017, 03:32 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
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A space force as a separate military branch?

This idea started after the first Gulf War, but never got any traction. Now a new group of leaders is calling for the idea.

I think that such a thing could happen some day, and probably should happen; but likely not for a few years yet.

Quote:
Rep. Mike Rogers said the U.S. Air Force needs a separate “Space Corps” to handle military operations in orbit, as a first step in creating a completely separate military branch.

“We have to acknowledge that the national security space structure is broken,” the Alabama Republican said in a Tuesday morning speech at the 33rd Space Symposium. “It’s very hard for a government bureaucracy to fix itself, and that’s exactly why congressional oversight exists. It’s the job of the Armed Services Committee to recognize when the bureaucracy is broken and to see that it’s fixed.”
http://spacenews.com/rogers-calls-fo...the-air-force/

Here's a paper from 2000 that explores the idea in some depth.
Quote:
In this well-documented essay, Col Michael C. Whittington compares the leading arguments for a separate space force to the cogent arguments for an independent air force made by airpower advocates during the interwar years of 1920–1940. The airpower issues in 1920 and the space power issues of today are strikingly similar, revolving around four key issues: leadership, doctrine, technology, and funding.
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/maxwell/mp20.pdf

Quote:
Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn last week said he's backing a House Armed Services Committee proposal that would elevate military space troops to the same status held by the Marine Corps. Lamborn said the move would raise the prominence of space work at the Pentagon and would cut red tape that hampers construction of satellites.

He's gotten some applause, including praise from a former head of Air Force Space Command who's endorsed the move.

But the proposal also has critics.

In addition to a few guffaws about Star Trek uniforms, some local retired brass worry that the change comes with too little study and could make things worse for the military and Colorado Springs.
http://gazette.com/lamborn-backed-sp...rticle/1606395
  #2  
Old 07-04-2017, 04:24 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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How would these proposals work with the Outer Space Treaty or do they assume we abrogate that treaty?

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Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Article IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit and thus some highly destructive attack strategies such as kinetic bombardment are still potentially allowable.
  #3  
Old 07-04-2017, 06:25 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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I like space lasers in video games as much as anyone but, as battleships show, coolness is not an argument for billion dollar spending or military effectiveness.

What kinds of things do space technologies and tactics do today? What would a space command add to that? If space command expanded the use of space, how would those assets be protected? The quoted text mentions "leadership, doctrine, technology and funding" but those are inputs, what would be the probable outputs?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 07-04-2017 at 06:26 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-04-2017, 07:23 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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All the arguments are essentially bureaucratic.

Space is the next budgetary growth area. So each service wants a piece of the space pie. Which leads to inter-service duplication and working at cross purposes when viewed from the collective DoD level.

At the same time, it also means that within each service, space is playing second (or 10th) fiddle to the existing mission areas, whether that's strategic bombers, submarines, or armor. So space, which is massively strategically important to DoD, gets shorter shrift at the service level than it should.

The whole and entire point of a space force within DoD is to have only one budgetary entity that has only one concern and no divided loyalties: maximizing space-related capability and the attendant spending.


As to jasg's point, military space today isn't about placing bombs in orbit or on the Moon. Which is all that the treaty addresses. It's about satellites for communications and reconnaissance and our ability to defend (or rapidly replace) our satellites and prevent or destroy the enemy's satellites. It's also about R&D for space-related stuff. And about things like ICBMs and their follow-on systems. Which use space as a medium to get where they're going on Earth.

None of that requires any treaty abrogation.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 07-04-2017 at 07:25 PM.
  #5  
Old 07-04-2017, 07:44 PM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
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I don't like the idea of a separate Space Arm. Frankly, I'm not sold on the idea that we need all the existing separate forces.

What we DO need, is a different structure, specifically, some sort of central coordinating office. Maybe several new coordinating offices.

The use of space needs to be coordinated big time, and not just to save money by avoiding duplication. It's similar to the fact that we've needed a Military Communications Central office for a long time now, too. Remember how screwed up Grenada was, because they only found out AFTER all the forces were in action, that every branch of the service had chosen radios operating on different frequencies? And how the same problem happened domestically on 9-11?

A Military Space Central coordinating office is needed, to make sure that when one arm DOES want a satellite launched, that it will also be able to serve the concerns of the other branches when they need to work together, which is almost every time.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:50 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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I don't think this idea makes any sense at all. Solution in search of a problem.

The Air Force is already the Executive Agent for Space. If others want to do things in space - like the Navy's MUOS comms satellites - the Air Force has a seat at the table.

In contrast to air power, especially before WW2, there is nobody who argues that space is a sideshow to war. GPS and comms: nuff said.

There's no acquisition inefficiency that would be fixed by a Space Corps. The Air Force has acquisition officers and civilians who design and buy satellites today. Putting them in a new organization doesn't change what they do at all. Whether the Commander, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center wears a blue suit or a Star Trek uniform makes zero difference.

The only thing this proposal does is two things: creates a new bureaucracy to manage the Space Corps, and some politicians get their name in the papers as big thinkers.
  #7  
Old 07-04-2017, 08:16 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
All the arguments are essentially bureaucratic.

Space is the next budgetary growth area. So each service wants a piece of the space pie. Which leads to inter-service duplication and working at cross purposes when viewed from the collective DoD level.

At the same time, it also means that within each service, space is playing second (or 10th) fiddle to the existing mission areas, whether that's strategic bombers, submarines, or armor. So space, which is massively strategically important to DoD, gets shorter shrift at the service level than it should.
Quote:
Originally Posted by igor frankensteen View Post
What we DO need, is a different structure, specifically, some sort of central coordinating office. Maybe several new coordinating offices.

The use of space needs to be coordinated big time, and not just to save money by avoiding duplication. It's similar to the fact that we've needed a Military Communications Central office for a long time now, too. Remember how screwed up Grenada was, because they only found out AFTER all the forces were in action, that every branch of the service had chosen radios operating on different frequencies? And how the same problem happened domestically on 9-11?

The US military seems to have accomplished something similar to this with weapons like the JDAM, JASSM, JSOW* and other joint development programs.

SOCOM** is another example of parts of elements of different branches being brought together into a unified command to make sure it's given sufficient priority, minimize duplication and enable interoperability. From the little I know of it, SOCOM seems to have a good amount of leeway in terms of funding.

Perhaps the creation of a command with an integrated development & acquisitions office would be preferable to the creation of a branch.




* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_...ttack_Munition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158_JASSM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-15...tandoff_Weapon

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...ations_Command
  #8  
Old 07-04-2017, 08:27 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
SOCOM** is another example of parts of elements of different branches being brought together into a unified command to make sure it's given sufficient priority, minimize duplication and enable interoperability. From the little I know of it, SOCOM seems to have a good amount of leeway in terms of funding.

Perhaps the creation of a command with an integrated development & acquisitions office would be preferable to the creation of a branch.
The few SOCOM major defense acquisition programs have not gone well, mainly because I don't think they can draw on the systems engineering experience that is generally resident in the services. However, SOCOM does do well in rapidly fielding gear that is basically anything smaller than a truck. (Though the concept behind the modular Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle [SCAR] seems to have flopped.)
  #9  
Old 07-04-2017, 09:25 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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I think it would attract attention to an area the DoD probably doesn't want attention where people who aren't thinking about it current will suddenly freak out about weaponizing space.

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Old 07-05-2017, 03:00 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
The few SOCOM major defense acquisition programs have not gone well, mainly because I don't think they can draw on the systems engineering experience that is generally resident in the services. However, SOCOM does do well in rapidly fielding gear that is basically anything smaller than a truck. (Though the concept behind the modular Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle [SCAR] seems to have flopped.)

Why does the lack of systems engineering experience make itself felt aorund truck-sized projects?

What are the best systems they've come up with?
  #11  
Old 07-05-2017, 10:04 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Why does the lack of systems engineering experience make itself felt aorund truck-sized projects?

What are the best systems they've come up with?
Because beyond truck sized things, the government is much more likely to buy things that are designed specifically for military use, rather than being closely related to commercial technology. That means that the government is setting requirements for complex systems.

I think SOCOM does best when it takes good technology and systems that a pretty mature already, and not "coming up" with their own systems. As for a specific program, the SOPGM small munition seems to be a very good success, with other services wanting to adopt it for their own uses.
  #12  
Old 07-05-2017, 06:54 PM
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Don't we already have this?

US Strategic Command Joint Functional Component Command for Space

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_...mand_for_Space
  #13  
Old 07-05-2017, 06:58 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Originally Posted by Reply View Post
Don't we already have this?

US Strategic Command Joint Functional Component Command for Space

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_...mand_for_Space
JFCC-Space does not have the responsibility to recruit, train and equip space forces. Just like how Pacific Fleet doesn't conduct its own recruiting etc.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:18 AM
August West August West is offline
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My problem is that it would be an arm of the Air Force.

Space is supposed to be filled with Admirals, Captains, Commanders, and Ensigns, not Generals, Colonels, and 2nd Lieutenants!
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:35 AM
steronz steronz is online now
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Don't forget the space marines.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:15 PM
mbh mbh is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by August West View Post
My problem is that it would be an arm of the Air Force.

Space is supposed to be filled with Admirals, Captains, Commanders, and Ensigns, not Generals, Colonels, and 2nd Lieutenants!
Bah! You youngsters and your Star Trek fetish! Lt. Wilma Deering and Capt. Buck Rogers took their orders from General MacGregor.
  #17  
Old 07-06-2017, 02:23 PM
August West August West is offline
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Star Wars, also. Admiral Ackbar, for example.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:45 PM
mbh mbh is online now
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Yeah, but Han and Lando were generals in the final battle.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:56 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by August West View Post
My problem is that it would be an arm of the Air Force.

Space is supposed to be filled with Admirals, Captains, Commanders, and Ensigns, not Generals, Colonels, and 2nd Lieutenants!
That's actually not a problem. After all, the Marines are organized in the Dept. of the Navy.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:46 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I think SOCOM does best when it takes good technology and systems that a pretty mature already, and not "coming up" with their own systems. As for a specific program, the SOPGM small munition seems to be a very good success, with other services wanting to adopt it for their own uses.
I've seen "SOPGM" used to refer to either the GBU-44 Viper Strike or the AGM-175 Griffin, which are you talking about?

What particular uses does SOCOM make of it? How would the other services make use of it?
  #21  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:50 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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Stargate sg1 seems like the better model for military in space. Col/Gen Jack O'Neill would kick any Star Trek Captain's butt.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:51 PM
August West August West is offline
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Yeah, but Han and Lando were generals in the final battle.
Han was leading a ground force, so that makes sense. Lando, that one is troubling. He should have been named a Captain or an Admiral, IMHO.

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That's actually not a problem. After all, the Marines are organized in the Dept. of the Navy.
Having served with hundreds of Marines as a US Navy Seabee, I'm well aware of that. Are you saying that the Air Force would use Naval titles and insignia much as the Marines use the Army/Air Force ones? I suppose that's a possibility and one that I would support.
  #23  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:51 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
What particular uses does SOCOM make of it?
They kill people with it, from airplanes.

Quote:
How would the other services make use of it?
They plan to kill people with it, from airplanes or ships.
  #24  
Old 07-06-2017, 04:38 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Indeed. Is the added value of the SOPGM from the small size and weight alone? A kind of ultra-Small Diameter Bomb?
  #25  
Old 07-14-2017, 09:50 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Secretary Mattis says the idea of a Space Corps is stupid:

http://www.talkmedianews.com/wp-cont...7.11.20171.pdf
  #26  
Old 07-14-2017, 10:26 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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But... it would mean we would have space cadets and even, with inter-branch personnel transfers, Space Marines which would surely please the Emperor.
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:05 PM
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The Air Force ran thinks just fine in Men Into Space.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:05 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Great pic.

Reminds me of one schlocky SF B-movie from the late 50s/early 60s where the spacemen driving their hokey spaceship were all wearing box-stock then-current USAF uniforms but with all the Sergeant's and Airmen's sleeve stripes sown on upside down. Space!!! It's ... different.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:17 PM
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The Israelis get along with all three services combined into the IDF.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:22 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
Reminds me of one schlocky SF B-movie from the late 50s/early 60s where the spacemen driving their hokey spaceship were all wearing box-stock then-current USAF uniforms but with all the Sergeant's and Airmen's sleeve stripes sown on upside down.
Without gravity, is there really any right-side-up?
  #31  
Old 07-14-2017, 03:33 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Somewhat amusing that almost all Scifi pictures space ships as a Navy like structure, but in real life what we have tends to be run by Air Force people.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:48 PM
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Without gravity, is there really any right-side-up?
In regards to the frame of reference of a uniform, yes.
  #33  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:15 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Somewhat amusing that almost all Scifi pictures space ships as a Navy like structure, but in real life what we have tends to be run by Air Force people.
That's because in real life, space has less buggery and more golf than sci-to writers anticipated.
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