The Trump administration has made another step forward in making Space Force a reality.
Last week ended with Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan releasing the proposal to Congress to create a Space Force today.
In an official statement, Shanahan declared that his department’s proposal marks “…an historic moment for our nation,” adding that the Department of Defense’s legislation “is a strategic step towards securing America’s vital national interests in space.”
The draft issued to lawmakers envisions standing up the U.S. Space Force as part of the U.S. Air Force over five years. Over that period, Space Force would establish its own headquarters, and steadily transfer space operations from other military branches and government agencies to its own domain.
DoD made a budget request of $72.4 million for Space Forces’s first year of operations. Once fully established, Defense officials estimate the cost of Space Force at $500 million annually in additive costs.
As far as how Space Force would operate, DoD has suggested the Secretary of the Air Force would be responsible for organizing, training and equipping the new military branch. That would mean the head of the Air Force would be responsible —at least initially— for two distinct military services, similar to how the Marines are formally part of the Navy. But the new Space Force would have from the get-go a four-star chief of staff who would serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Additionally, the newly created office of the Under Secretary of Space would provide oversight of the civilian component of the new service.