A congressional committee has proposed that a new branch of the military be formed, called the United States Space Corps. As proposed in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, this would be the first new branch added since the formation of the United States Air Force in 1947. The USSC would be subordinate to the Department of the Air Force, much in the way the United States Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy.
The Chief of Staff of the Space Corps would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Air Force, and would be a co-equal of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) is currently the primary space force for the U.S. Armed Forces, but primarily supports military operations using satellite and cyber-warfare operations.
According to the NDAA, the Space Corps would be tasked with "protecting the interests of the United States in space; deterring aggression in, from, and through space; providing combat-ready space forces that enable the commanders of the combatant commands to fight and win wars; organizing, training, and equipping space forces; and conducting space operations of the Space Corps under the command of the Commander of the United States Space Command."
There is, however, resistance to the proposal: Defense Secretary James Mattis is asking Congress to reconsider the proposal of the USSC as a separate service: "I believe it is premature at add additional organization and administrative tail to the department at a time I am trying to reduce overhead [sic]." Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) is currently drafting an amended NDAA that would remove the USSC proposal.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is also opposing the proposal, saying that the move would add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to the Pentagon’s operations. "This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organizational chart, and cost more money", according to Wilson.
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