Pentagon officials will sit down with members of Congress and their staffs to go over the details of how the Pentagon would organize the U.S. Space Force within the Department of the Air Force.
According to reports, meetings between lawmakers and DoD personnel will probably begin in the coming week.
Trump announced his intent to found a Space Force back in June of last year. If the administration will have any hope of getting the new military branch off the ground, they will need substantial support from both Houses of Congress. And in order to do that, they’ll have to give over a hell of a case.
The idea of a Space Force has faced quite a bit of opposition from lawmakers and from within Trump’s own administration. The naysayers argue that an independent Space Force will be costly. It will be complicated. It will upset much of the current efforts to simplify things in the armed forces. Months ago, when the decision on Space Force was being solidified by the White House, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote in a letter to the House and Senate armed services committees why he objected to the idea. “I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts,” explained Mattis. While the former defense secretary no longer has a voice to influence policy, there are still many in the government who share his views.
The job of DoD will be two-fold:
First, they will have to convince policymakers of the necessity of a Space Force, which will likely evolve around the three points of securing U.S. assets in space such as intelligence satellites, protecting American space travelers (not just astronauts, but probably in the not too distant future, civilians as well), and the need to keep up with other great powers in the “space race.”
Second, officials will have to give clear answers on how Space Force will be set up practically. Back in December, Trump ordered the reactivation of Space Command in order to form the managerial and command structure for the new Force. Similarly, Congress will probably want to know where the personnel to man a new military branch are going to come from. According to reports, DoD will likely seek a special provision that would allow the defense secretary to transfer personnel, programs, and other resources from other services to get the new branch up and running.