Space Force

Space Force releases recruitment video: ‘Maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet’

The Space Force released a recruitment video on Wednesday. The branch posted the video to Twitter, telling potential cadets: “Maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet.” The video is aimed to inspire men and women to join and protect the United States and its interest “in space and to provide space capabilities.” The Space Force became the sixth branch of the U.S. military in December 2019 and welcomed its first class of cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation in late April. President Trump authorized the act to create the Space Force at the end of last year. The last time a branch of the armed forces was added was in 1947 when the Air Force split from the Army. The Space Force operates under the Department of the Air Force, much like how the Marine Corps operates under the Department of the Navy. The newest 86 officers to join will be sent for space training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, while others will fill positions relating to cyberspace operations and intelligence. The newest recruitment video posted Wednesday ends with a recruit looking to the stars as the narrator says: “Maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet.” Twitter has been quick to compare the Space Force to “Star Wars” and “The Last Star Fighter.” President Trump is expected to pick a location for where the new Space Force headquarters will be by the end of the year. Click here to see the new Space Force recruitment video.

Cheesy…yet cool!   As many of you know, I spent a couple years in the Army’s Space Command (“SMDC”) in Colorado Springs, CO.  And yes, I have my “Spings” (i.e. Army Space Badge) for those of you who are curious. …which is why we’ve been very adamant from day one here at The Daily Buzz about the need for our federal government to invest more in both our civilian (i.e. NASA) and military (i.e. Space Force, SMDC, etc.) space programs.  Whatever those budgets are, they need to be doubled, if not tripled.  We’re still ahead of our competitors…but that edge is quickly fading.  For every launch of ours, China has about 100 launches.  They’re catching up, and fast.  And, that is NOT a good thing.  And that’s just China.  Remember we have Russia to contend with, and now both N. Korea and Iran (yes, Iran) have launched military satellites into space.  They all know the next BIG war we fight will be in space, as it is the ultimate “high ground.”  And the country that has dominance there, will have the advantage.  Some time ago we posted an article written by a retired Air Force 3-star general called “The Urgent Need for a Space Force.”   To find it, type “Space Force” in the search field on the right…and read it.  We agree with the good general’s assessment 100%.   Go Space Force!       🙂

Analysis: The Urgent Need for a United States Space Force

In June 2018, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to “begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.” The reason for a space force is simple: space is the strategic high ground from which all future wars will be fought. If we do not master space, our nation will become indefensible. Since that time, entrenched bureaucrats and military leaders across the Department of Defense, especially in the Air Force, have been resisting the President’s directive in every way they can. And this December, although Congress voted to approve a Space Force, it did so while placing restrictions on it—such as that the Space Force be built with existing forces—that will render it largely useless in any future conflicts. At the heart of the problem is a disagreement about the mission of a Space Force. The Department of Defense envisions a Space Force that continues to perform the task that current space assets perform—supporting wars on the surface of the Earth. The Air Force especially is mired in an outmoded industrial-age mindset. It sees the Space Force as projecting power through air, space, and cyberspace, understood in a way that precludes space beyond our geocentric orbit. Correspondingly, the Defense Department and Congress think that the Air Force should build the Space Force. So far, this has amounted to the Air Force planning to improve the current Satellite Command incrementally and call it a Space Force. It is not planning to accelerate the new space economy with dual-use technologies. It is not planning to protect the Moon or travel corridors in space to and from resource locations—raw materials worth trillions of dollars are available within a few days’ travel from Earth—and other strategic high grounds. It is not planning to place human beings in space to build and protect innovative solutions to the challenges posed by the physical environment. It is not developing means to rescue Americans who may get stranded or lost in space. In short, the Air Force does not plan to build a Space Force of the kind America needs. In its lack of farsightedness, the Air Force fails to envision landmasses or cities in space to be monitored and defended. Nor does it envision Americans in space whose rights need defending—despite the fact that in the coming years, the number of Americans in space will grow exponentially. This lack of forward thinking can be put down to human nature and organizational behavior: people in bureaucratic settings tend to build what they have built in the past and defend what they have defended in the past. We have seen this kind of shortsightedness before. In the 1920s, the airplane and the tank were developed by the Army. Even the most respected military leaders at the time, Generals John J. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur, opposed independent development of the airplane and the tank because they saw them as subservient to the infantry. Infantry had always been the key to military success, and the generals’ reputations were built on that fact. For them, slow and cautious steps were prudent, and revolutionary steps were reckless. These generals defended the status quo even to the point of court-martialing General Billy Mitchell, who had the audacity to say that the airplane was going to change the character of war and needed to be developed independently in order to achieve its full potential. This type of status quo thinking in the 1920s resulted in needless loss of life during World War II. More airmen were lost in the European theater alone than were marines in the entire war. And countless soldiers died in America’s Sherman tanks, whose shells would bounce off Germany’s Panzer and Tiger tanks. Frontal infantry attacks were launched in order to get Sherman tanks behind the German tanks to fire at close range—the only range at which they could be effective. Many more of our fighting men would have come home and the war would have been shorter if American generals had taken a revolutionary approach to tanks and planes from the beginning. On the other side, consider that a major reason we won World War II when we did was the revolutionary—not slow and cautious—approach we took to developing nuclear weapons with the Manhattan Project. Likewise today, instead of blindly following the bureaucrats and generals in the Defense Department, we need a Manhattan-type project in order to develop the kind of Space Force needed to meet future military challenges. America’s greatest competitor for the high ground of space is Communist China, which is already fully engaged in building effective space capabilities. America is not, and unless it gets off the mark soon, China will dominate the economy and domain of space. Our Air Force today can be compared to a race car that has been winning every race for the last 70 years by averaging 100 miles an hour. We are still in the lead, but China is gaining and averaging 150 miles an hour. The Chinese will quickly surpass us if we do nothing—and when they do, they will set up roadblocks that will make catching up difficult if not impossible. Today, while America is building lighthouses and listening stations that can see and hear what is happening in space, China is building battleships and destroyers that can move fast and strike hard—the equivalent of a Navy in space. China is winning the space race not because it makes better equipment, but because it has a superior strategy. The Chinese are open about their plan to become the dominant power in space by 2049, the centennial of the end of the Communist Chinese Revolution and of the founding of the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong. If China stays on its current path, it will deploy nuclear propulsion technology and solar power stations in space within ten years. This will give it the ability to beam clean energy to anyone on Earth—and the power to disable any portion of the American power grid and paralyze our military anywhere on the planet. America is developing no tools to defeat such a strategy, despite the fact that we are spending billions of dollars on exquisite 20th century military equipment. Over the past two centuries, we have seen that technology drives economic prosperity and that economic prosperity is essential to sustaining national security. China’s plan is to profit from the multi-trillion dollar space marketplace while simultaneously acquiring global domination. We are capable of forestalling China’s plan, but only if we begin to build a Space Force soon and on the right plan. To do this, we must first understand China’s strategic goal, which is to dominate the sectors of economic growth that historically have held the key to world power: transportation, energy, information, and manufacturing. Space presents unique economic opportunities because space technology operates on network principles. A network can deliver power, information, or goods from one node to many nodes at a fraction of the increase in cost per customer, as compared to the linear system on which most of our land-based economies are modeled. Compare the cost of sending 100 letters to the cost of sending 100 emails. A space infrastructure, by its nature, is a network system—and these types of systems will always translate to economic advantage. The first nation to build such an infrastructure will dominate the global economy of the 21st century and beyond. China is developing the kind of technologies required to do so: hypersonic missiles and aircraft, 5G telecommunications, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, quantum computing, and robotics. Last January, China landed the Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon. The mission provided valuable knowledge in terms of commercial and military applications. At one time this sort of mission was not beyond U.S. capabilities, but it is today, and it shows a commitment to space that we lack. To be sure, China has yet to achieve the ability to launch a manned spacecraft, but this is also a capability that we no longer possess—the U.S. relies on Russian rocketry to man and resupply the International Space Station. China’s goal is to have the capability to shut down America’s computer systems and electrical grids at any time or place of its choosing, using directed energy and 5G technologies from space. Space is the strategic high ground from which China will seek to gain control of our media, businesses, land, debt, and markets. Although American companies are working on these new technologies, they are doing so in separate silos. Real power lies in tethering or combining the technologies together in space to achieve a dominant economic advantage. If we choose to compete with China in space, we have a cultural advantage. We are more creative and innovative than China, because we have an open society and a free market. But we must be ambitious and act soon.

That was part of a speech given at Hillsdale College in November 2019 by Lieutenant General Steven L. Kwast (Ret). Lt Gen Kwast is a retired Air Force three-star general and former commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in astronautical engineering, he holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a past president of the Air Force’s Air University in Montgomery, Alabama, and a former fighter pilot with extensive combat and command experience. His awards include the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He is the author of the study, “Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost Space Access for 21st Century Challenges.”  Lt Gen Kwast is saying exactly what I’ve been saying for over a decade now.  And, his resume and experience only give this position credibility.  Consider this your “Read of the Day.”  If you read only one thing here at The Daily Buzz, then READ THIS!!  Then, pass it along to your friends and family members…and your member of Congress and your two U.S. Senators.  For more from this excellent speech, click on the text above.    🙂

One giant leap for Space Force: Pentagon seeks ‘orbital outpost’

The Defense Department is seeking a “self-contained and free flying orbital outpost” to serve as a hub for experimentation and testing for the military’s 21st-century space program. In a request for proposals, the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) laid out its requirements for the outpost and suggested that the project could be a first step toward ultimately having military personnel on board. “The solution must be capable of supporting space assembly, microgravity experimentation, logistics and storage, manufacturing, training, test and evaluation, hosting payloads, and other functions,” the DIU said. Moving forward, the Pentagon said “desired future capabilities” of the project include attachment with other outposts in space, orbit transfer, and even “human-rating,” suggesting that the unit should be able to safely house humans. The solicitation for proposals comes as the Pentagon moves forward in establishing U.S. Space Command, a key component of President Trump’s desired Space Force. The Senate last week confirmed Gen. John Raymond to lead Space Command.

Trump’s Space Force Will Guard the U.S. From Above, NASA Chief Says

NASA’s administrator is a strong defender of President Donald Trump’s proposals for space — including an armed force and a permanent presence on the moon — and says he wants Americans to realize how much their well-being depends on what happens far above Earth. “Every banking transaction requires a GPS signal for timing,” Jim Bridenstine said in an interview. “You lose the GPS signal and guess what you lose? You lose banking.” “If you look at what space is, it’s not that much different than the ocean,” added Bridenstine, who made 333 aircraft-carrier landings as a Navy pilot. “It’s an international domain that has commerce that needs to be protected.” Bridenstine was in his third term representing a congressional district in Oklahoma when Trump nominated him to lead the $21 billion space agency. He was confirmed in the spring despite criticism over his lack of scientific or engineering experience and his previous statements questioning climate change science — though he said in hearings that human activity was the chief cause of global warming. Last summer, when he was still in Congress, Bridenstine supported a measure that would have created a “space corps.” It passed the House but was removed from the final defense spending bill. Then last month, Trump called for the Pentagon to develop a sixth branch of the American armed services that would protect national and commercial interests in space. Trump’s surprise announcement caught Pentagon officials and members of Congress off guard. The Defense Department already has several major programs in the works and the Air Force has contended that a new branch was not necessary for space defense. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who once took part in a space shuttle mission, tweeted: “generals tell me they don’t want” it and “now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart.” How to establish U.S. security in space has been debated for at least two decades. An independent commission — led by Donald Rumsfeld before he became defense secretary — reported in 2001 that “in the longer term it may be met by a military department for space.” Some 60 different agencies within the defense establishment play roles in space-related work, said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. That may slow the realization of Trump’s goal. “This isn’t going to happen quickly.” Harrison said.

Indeed..  For more, click on the text above.

Opinion/Analysis: Trump will make America great in space again with these historic advances

This week has shown how serious and determined the Trump-Pence team is about launching America into a new era of leadership in space – and ensuring our dominance there for generations to come. Consider President Trump’s announcement at the National Space Policy Council meeting on Monday that the Department of Defense will create a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of our military. Couple this with the announcement of Space Policy Directive-3, which will create the world’s first official system for extraterrestrial traffic management, along with the continued effort by the Department of Commerce to streamline commercial access to space. Each of these actions represents a tremendous step forward in the development of our economy and civilization beyond Earth. Taken together, they are game-changing and truly historic. First, establishing the U.S. Space Force is the clearest possible way for President Trump to tell our international allies (and opponents) that America is serious about national security in space. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine noted at the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group meeting on Tuesday that the principle purpose of the Navy is to protect our seaborne commerce. Similarly, Bridenstine asserted that the principle purpose of the Space Force will be to protect and defend our space economy. This announcement was a powerful signal to young Americans that they can expect to have careers in space during their lifetimes. Just as young patriots have traveled the globe on land, air, and sea while serving our country, soon American Space Force members will be able to protect our nation in space between the Earth and moon, on the moon, or beyond. Finally, calling for the establishment of the Space Force was an excellent way to bypass the bureaucratic resistance President Trump would have faced had he tried to push our terrestrial service branches into focusing resources outside the atmosphere. Military operations in space will require new, specialized thinking, training and equipping different from those of current military branches. A dedicated service will be able to accomplish significantly more for our space-based national defense. President Trump’s signing of Space Policy Directive-3 on Monday was also very significant. Not only does it set the pace of his administration’s expectations (it is the third actionable space policy directive in three meetings of the National Space Council), but it could also help solidify America’s central role in space travel globally. The directive calls for the development of a U.S. space traffic management policy. This may sound like a bureaucratic step, but maritime law was largely written by the British because England had the most sea commerce and wrote the rules. Similarly, the Federal Aviation Administration wrote the standard rules for air travel because the U.S. had the largest commercial aviation sector. President Trump and Vice President Pence are determined to repeat this pattern of leadership in space. In addition to following President Trump’s administration-wide instruction to cut expensive regulations, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been diligently working to consolidate and streamline space regulations into the Office of Space Commerce. The ultimate goal is to turn the Office of Space Commerce into a one-stop shop for all federal regulations required for activities outside the atmosphere. While this is still in process, I heard from several commercial space business leaders at the Users’ Advisory Group meeting Tuesday who said Ross’s actions have already been a tremendous help. All of these initiatives add up to truly remarkable progress in bringing America back into the leadership position in the new space race. Aside from sheer power of vision and force of will, President Trump has been able to achieve this early success because he has built an exemplary team. Vice President Pence’s background and passion for space policy (combined with the power of his position) make him the perfect person to chair the renewed National Space Council. This is bolstered and optimized by the experience and professionalism of Scott Pace, the National Space Council’s executive secretary. Similarly, I could not think of a better person to lead NASA than Administrator Bridenstine. Like the vice president, Bridenstine has been a thoughtful, aggressive advocate for American space leadership since serving in Congress.

Exciting times indeed!!  As many of you know, I have been a strong advocate for investing in both our civilian (i.e. NASA) and military (i.e. U.S. Air Force Space Command and the U.S. Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command..or SMDC) for years.  Having spent a couple years, myself, in SMDC, I know just how important it is to be in a leadership position in space.  For every launch we have, the Chinese have about 100.  And, that’s not an exaggeration.  We’re very excited to see the Trump Administration take a more pro-active, leadership oriented, position with respect to space.   🙂