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Pentagon not waiting for Congress to create Space Force – moving full ahead with plans

The Pentagon (David B. Gleason/Wikimedia Commons)
August 01, 2018

A new report this week revealed that the Pentagon will begin creating the Space Force proposed by President Trump.

Over the next few months, the Department of Defense will begin taking the steps needed to create a new, sixth branch of the military – the Space Force. They are expected to begin the process this week, Defense One reported.

Top Defense Department officials will begin by planning out three of the four components that comprise the Space Force project – the only actions they can take without the approval of Congress.

Those three components include “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.”

The fourth component of the project requires a Congressional bill to officially establish the new military branch and secure the financial and infrastructure aspects to support it. Defense Department officials will develop a proposal to submit to Congress in 2019 to be included in the 2020 budget proposal.

The Defense Department has a 14-page drafted report that was slated to be submitted to members of Congress on Wednesday. The draft contains the plan to be executed by Patrick Shanahan, the Deputy Defense Secretary.

However, the report’s release to Congress has been delayed, according to Defense One.

DOD Spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said: “We are in the final coordination stages of the report to Congress on the recommended organization and management structure of space components for the Department of Defense.”

“We will release the report when coordination is complete which we anticipate will be soon,” he added.

The delay likely stems from criticisms against the report for lacking sufficient analyses to support its recommendations.

The report says: “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.”

“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,” it adds.

The report will be officially released later in the week, although the Pentagon has refused to comment on it before then.

The report seeks to establish the U.S. Space Command by the end of the year. It will oversee Space Force efforts throughout the military.

“The Department will recommend that the President revise the Unified Campaign Plan to create the new U.S. Space Command by the end of 2018 and evaluate the need for any additional personnel, responsibilities and authorities,” the report says.

“Similar to Special Forces personnel provided by all military services, the Space Operations Force will be composed of the space personnel from all Military Services, but developed and managed as one community,” the report adds.

The report also calls for the overhaul of existing space service organizations and facilities to “aggressively pursue improved performance.”

In the 2018 Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated that the DOD develop the report.