A 14-page report lists sweeping changes: a new combatant command, a new space-procurement agency, and a new Space Operations Force.
The U.S. Defense Department this week will take the first steps to create the Space Force, a new branch of the military ordered up by President Trump but not yet fully backed by Congress.
In coming months, Defense Department leaders plan to stand up three of the four components of the new Space Force: a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy satellites for the military, and a new warfighting community that draws space operators from all service branches. These sweeping changes — on par with the past decade’s establishment of cyber forces — are the part the Pentagon can do without lawmakers’ approval.
Creating the fourth component — services and support functions such as financial management and facilities construction — will require congressional action. Defense officials plan to spend the rest of 2018 building a “legislative proposal for the authorities necessary to fully establish the Space Force.” That would go to Congress early next year as part of the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal.
This plan, developed for execution by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian, is laid out in a 14-page draft report slated to go to lawmakers on Wednesday. Defense One reviewed a draft of the report dated July 30.
“The Department of Defense is establishing a Space Force to protect our economy through deterrence of malicious activities, ensure our space systems meet national security requirements and provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces across the spectrum of conflict,” says the draft report. “DoD will usher in a new age of space technology and field new systems in order to deter, and if necessary degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy and manipulate adversary capabilities to protect U.S. interests, assets and way of life…This new age will unlock growth in the U.S. industrial base, expand the commercial space economy and strengthen partnerships with our allies.”
The Pentagon declined to comment on the report in advance of its formal release later this week. READ MORE: