What Really is the U.S. Space Force?
Article by Alex Polimeni March 23, 2020 (crimson.fit.edu)
• Space has become an increasingly contested environment. The United States relies on satellites for missile warning, GPS navigation, secured communications, and intelligence gathering, all which are essential to America’s national security. But China, Russia, and India are among the countries that have rapidly advanced their anti-satellite weaponry to pose an extreme danger to American assets.
• If GPS satellites were to go offline, the financial system would crash, public navigation would be hindered, the power grid would be affected, military aircraft would lose navigation, and GPS guided bombs and missiles would be rendered useless. The US Space Force was formed late last year following increased hostility from other nations in space.
• At the initiation of Space Force, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said, “Now is the time for the US Space Force to lead our nation in preparing for emerging threats in an evolving space environment.” With Space Force, the US will be in a position to defend our national interests and outpace potential adversaries. Today, all GPS navigation satellites are controlled by the Space Force.
• Before the inception of Space Force, when satellites were seemingly out of reach, the US Air Force Space Command was responsible for the defense of our military assets in space. But in recent years, Russia and China have increased their aggression in space, deploying military satellites near US commercial satellites and building anti-satellite weapons within range of nearly all Earth satellite orbits. Space is now a warfighting domain.
• General John Raymond, head of Space Force, told the House Armed Services Committee, “Let me be very clear, we do not want a conflict that extends into space. But one way to keep that from happening is to make sure that we’re prepared for it and [can] fight and win that conflict if it were to occur.”
• Although Space Force remains under the supervision of the Department of the Air Force, it is separately funded and has a Joint-Chief of Staff that directly advises the President. Former Air Force bases at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg are to be renamed and transferred to Space Force.
• Space is the next battleground frontier. America’s military-might now depends on space. It is paramount that we are ready and willing to counter aggression and protect our space assets at all costs.
Missile warning, GPS navigation, secured communications, and intelligence gathering; all of these share
one commonality— they are essential to America’s national security.
The United States Space Force was formed late last year following increased hostility from other nations in space including China and Russia.
Space has become an increasingly contested environment. The United States relies on a plethora of defense satellites, spanning through multiple orbits. Orbits thought to be safe and out of reach. However, anti-satellite weapons have rapidly advanced, and pose an extreme danger to American assets.
According to an NPR report, countries including China, Russia, and India all have demonstrated anti-satellite capabilities through test launches.
Yet, as most Americans are not aware of these critical space-based assets, they could not even picture life without these unique capabilities. These satellites orbit overhead, in the shadow of the public eye. The satellites of the United States Space Force support every warfighting domain; including land, sea, air and space.
Daily life is intertwined around satellites owned by the Space Force. All GPS navigation satellites are controlled by the United States Space Force. If GPS satellites were to go offline, the financial system would crash, public navigation would be hindered, the power grid would be affected, military aircraft would have no sense of navigation, and more, according to an article from The Atlantic. Furthermore, GPS guided bombs and missiles would be rendered useless, according to a 60 Minutes interview with Bridger General Bill Cooley, the Commander at the Air Force Research Laboratory located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
In addition to the well-known GPS satellites, America relies on several other constellations, or groups of satellites, to monitor the globe for missile launches, provide secured communications, and more.
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