The Cost of Space Force

Mindy Sparks
September 22, 2018

Wilson's proposal takes issue with some of the directives in Shanahan's memo, such as the appointment of an assistant secretary of defense for space.

That competition is set to grow if President Donald Trump succeeds in creating a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military, something he hopes to do by 2020.

What's next for the U-S Air Force? Instead, it calls for renaming the Air Force as the Aerospace Force to highlight that air and space are "indivisible", as pointed out at the beginning of the Space Age by then Air Force Chief of Staff Thomas White.

Gen. Timothy Ray, the new head of Air Force Global Strike Command, said that regardless of the proposed additional bomber squadrons, the service is sticking to its Bomber Vector road map, which was unveiled during the fiscal 2019 budget rollout.

The memo estimates that the space force would add 13,044 personnel to Pentagon rolls, including more than 7,900 space force officers and enlisted service members.

Wert said that Section 804 was "amazing" for agile software development where the end user helps shape and iterate the capability, because it allows fielding of minimally viable products in a few months.

Over time, the service migrated away from the original design of the expeditionary Air Force - from a force organized to deploy forward to one that cannibalizes itself to send individual Airmen to join mature campaigns. The $13 billion projected cost over five years is based on a force of 13,000 people, including a headquarters of about 2,400.

Critics have described Wilson's cost estimates as overblown in an effort to dissuade lawmakers from supporting the breakup the Air Force.

The numbers, which were produced by Air Force cost estimators, "strike me as conservative", Wilson told reporters on Tuesday at a news conference during the Air Force Association's annual symposium. The proposal represents the Air Force's point of view, not necessarily that of the Pentagon as a whole. There is already a Space Command within the Air Force. In effect, it's not so much a debate centered on the merits of added defenses in space as it is a debate over bureaucracy and organization. Gen. Billy Mitchell (widely regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force) in 1925 after he vehemently accused the Army and Navy leadership of failing to prioritize air power.

"The Air Force is more ready for major combat operations today than we were two years ago", Wilson said.

The memo says the first-year cost of a Space Force would be $3.3 billion, and the cost over five years would be an estimated $12.9 billion.

Trump last month signed a massive, $716 billion defense policy bill meant to help address shortcomings in the USA military, which is trying to shift its focus to challenges posed by countries like China and Russian Federation after almost 17 years fighting militants in places like Afghanistan.

Such a sweeping plan is likely to run into heavy opposition in Congress, from those agencies' defenders and from those who want to keep the primary responsibility for space with the Air Force.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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