Space Force Plan Revealed – Are You Ready For Space National Guard Weekends?

Analysis

Lest you had any doubts about whether Space Force is really happening, it looks like the Pentagon is getting ready to go through with it.


Space Force would have a total of six bases in California, Colorado, and Florida, according to a draft of the Pentagon’s plan for the service that was obtained by Defense One. The internal plan also delves into creating a Space National Guard and Space Force Reserve.

In the draft plan, Space Force would absorb some of the Army, Navy, and Air Force’s space capabilities, but those services would still have people and equipment for their individual space needs, Defense One first reported on Monday.

The National Reconnaissance Office, which is in charge of the nation’s ultra-secret spy satellites, would remain independent from Space Force under the plan cited by Defense One. Space Force would also not be in charge of monitoring for nuclear missile launches and other missions “that are tangentially associated with space,” according to Defense One.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the draft plan.

It is not yet clear whether the internal plan reported by Defense One has support from the White House or if it is still a working draft that could change significantly before it is finalized, Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Task & Purpose.

The Trump administration’s goal is to create Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military by 2020, but that would require Congress’ approval. That could prove to be tricky if the Democrats take the House in next month’s midterm elections.

“For the past 20 years, space reorganization has not been a partisan political issue, but that could change if the president continues to use it as a rallying cry for fundraising and at campaign events,” Harrison told Task & Purpose. “This would make it very hard for Democrats to support a Space Force even if they may agree on the merits.”

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., has been an outspoken opponent of Space Force. Should the Democrats become the majority in the House, Smith could become the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

When Defense One reported in September that Space Force could cost $13 billion over five years, Smith said that was too much money.

“This is an initial estimate, but it suggests just how costly President Trump’s plan for a separate ‘Space Force’ would be,” Smith told Task & Purpose on Sept. 18. “That is a major reason why I am opposed to his request.”

SEE ALSO: The Space Force Awakens: Trump Orders DoD To Make It So

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. Army Astronaut Lt. Col. Anne McClain is captured in this photo during a media opportunity while serving as backup crew for NASA Expedition 56 to the International Space Station May, 2018, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. (NASA photo)

NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.

Read More Show Less
New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST) and 106th Rescue Wing prepare to identify and classify several hazardous chemical and biological materials during a collective training event at the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Facility, New York, May 2, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Harley Jelis)

The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.

The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.

The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Marine with Task Force Southwest observes Afghan National Army (ANA) 215th Corps soldiers move to the rally point to begin their training during a live-fire range at Camp Shorabak. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Luke Hoogendam)

By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?

Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.

Read More Show Less
The Topeka Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Public domain)

The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.

And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.

Read More Show Less
Jeannine Willard (Valencia County Detention Center)

A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.

Read More Show Less