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Space Force preparing for everything, even interplanetary operations, as it sets up

The Space Force is facing some of its most daunting existential questions as it prepares to present to Congress its plan for how it will become the next military service.

The Air Force secretary must deliver the plan to Congress by Feb. 1.

Maj. Gen. John Shaw, leader of Space Force’s Space Operations Command said the new service is building itself for the far future.

“This is a huge opportunity. We have the opportunity to create a warfighting service from scratch,” Shaw said Friday at an Air Force Association event in Washington. “I’ve been telling the team, ‘Don’t think about a warfighting service for the next decade. Create a warfighting service or the 22nd century. What is warfighting going to look like at the end of this century and into the next?’”

That may include interplanetary operations, Shaw said.

“Technology will change on the fly, maybe even by the second,” he said. “What we see is code writing that used to take years that now takes weeks or even hours. That will actually be done in microseconds, and maybe artificially. It’s going to be highly technology dependent and not human capital dependent.”

So how does the Space Force organize around that world? It’s not exactly sure yet. It’s creating a doctrine center to do some of that thinking. It also has some tenets it decided will be important for going forward.

One of the main ones is being independent, but not insular.

“We have to bring balance to the space force,” Shaw said. “It’s a different domain, the physics are different.”

Shaw said while the Space Force needs to carve out its own niche in the military, space connects all of the services. He likened the force to the element carbon in that it bonds to everything. The Space Force will help be and protect the glue between the military services for things like position, navigation and timing.

Shaw said the Space Force needs to think about doctrine, training and fighting differently as well.

“The Air Force is mostly expeditionary focused and needs to be,” Shaw said. “We train and we move to the fight. That’s how the Air Force works. What does warfighting for space look like? There’s not a lot of movement going on. It’s happening 24/7, 365 days a year and it’s happening in home station. We call it employed in place. It’s not even deployed in place because that presumes you move somewhere.”

Shaw said that creates a paradigm shift for the Space Force.

The Space Force also needs to figure out what it will do about its reserve and guard corps.

Shaw said the 2020 defense authorization act did not say anything about the Space National Guard, but he suspects that the discussion will involve what the total force of the Space Force structure will look like.

This summer Brig. Gen. Patrick Cobb, special assistant to the National Guard Chief for space, told Federal News Network the Defense Department plans to create a Space National Guard in tandem with the Space Force.

“In the second year of existence we will start bringing National Guard units over to the Space National Guard,” Cobb said. “We will bring the Air National Guard units over first and then a year after that the Army National Guard unit that we have here in Colorado. The Air Force Reserve would do the same thing and Army Reserve.”

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One Comment

  1. Yvonne Yvonne January 14, 2020

    I would like to try and relate a story that is related to this article – I am not a writer so please bear with me.

    I live in Colorado Springs, home to Norad, AFA, 2 air force bases, one army base, and now the new Space Command. To say we are a military town would be an understatement. The air force bases are to my east, and Norad is to the west of me. There have been many unusual things going on for awhile now.

    You will remember a few years ago there was a big hubbub about Walmarts being FEMA camps, and Jade Helm. During that time I started hearing and feeling activity of some kind under my house or very, very close by. My house would shake like a small quake, and noises I can’t explain for a period of time. It would happen during the day, and I would be in the lower level of the house which is partly underground – tri level house. I would feel or hear something and if my husband (on the second level) in the kitchen wouldn’t hear or feel anything. A few times I thought we had small quakes and even asked my local friends if they felt it. To cut to the chase, I believe the military was building a tunnel from one of the air force bases over to Norad. A short time later they announced they were moving operations back into Norad from Peterson Field – my house would be sitting at a trajectory for a tunnel between the two.

    We hear things in the air but cannot see anything because it is cloudy or they are too high. There is one that I have heard 3 times over the past few years at night. Always cloudy, but I can hear a pulsing droning kind of noise. It passes within my hearing about 3 times and goes off in a short distance, then gets louder, and fades off again. It seems like it is flying a pattern. Well, a few months ago I woke up about 10:30 -11pm and heard the droning again. I didn’t get up to look because I have before and can’t see anything so I just closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. At one point, while it was pretty pronounced I opened by eyes, and my whole bedroom was varying degrees of neon green – like the old car dashboard instruments! Scared the crap out of me! So, I closed my eyes, and when I opened them the light was gone. For my own piece of mind, I choose to believe they were scanning the tunnel for something instead of something nefarious. But, I do have to say that I wonder about our health from this activity – whatever it is.

    My point is that this Space Command has been in the making for years, and they are doing all kinds of things that we are not usually aware of, and with all kinds of tech. Now, we hear about these supposed un-known drones flying grid patterns in the NE part of the state – I wonder what else is going on up there.

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Copyright 2019 John B. Wells