On December 20, 2019, the President of the United States signed an order to form the Space Forces, which will unite several existing structures and include new ones. Over the past weeks, the Pentagon managed to carry out some necessary measures in this direction, as well as draw up plans for the future and determine the main features and tasks of the new type of troops.
Goals and Plans
On February 5, the Air Force Department, while in charge of the US Space Force (USSF), held a regular press conference, during which it talked about the latest actions and achievements. home news consists in completing the formation of a plan for subsequent work on transforming existing structures into a new type of troops. Relevant documents have been submitted to Congress for review, revision, and then approval.
During the press conference, USSF Deputy Commander Lieutenant General David Thompson revealed the main features of current plans. He recalled that the main goal of the Space Forces is to ensure US superiority in near-Earth space. They must ensure the operation of ground-based and orbital systems that solve a wide range of tasks in the interests of all types of armed forces.
It is noted that the new kind of troops "is created from scratch", and this gives certain advantages. It is proposed to use new approaches and methods that facilitate the construction and achievement of goals. You should also abandon third-party tasks, focusing on your direct responsibilities. According to the Pentagon, it is precisely such measures that will help create a fundamentally new workable structure, combining both existing and newly formed organizations.
Currently, the activities of the Space Forces are provided by the Ministry of the Air Force. In the foreseeable future, it is planned to form its own organization of this kind, initially aimed at providing USSF. After this, the new type of troops is more similar in structure to the existing ones.
Three directorates will be created within the ministry. The first will be engaged in logistics and personnel, the second will be responsible for operational activities, and the third will be entrusted with research, development of plans and implementation of promising programs. In the near future it is planned to identify and approve the candidacies of all three directors of directorates.
So far they are not going to completely refuse assistance from the Ministry of the Air Force. It may be entrusted with the solution of auxiliary tasks - construction, financial issues, support for communication and management systems, etc. The command wants the Cosmic forces to do their own work only and not to disperse forces for non-core tasks. It is proposed to transfer them to other organizations that already have the necessary capabilities.
The United States Air Force Academy will assist in training the Space Forces. The relevant agreement has already been signed. Training for future USSF specialists will begin this year. Also, as part of the forces, our own training command was created, similar to the type available to the Air Force. Whether he will have his own educational institutions was not specified.
Based on the experience of other military branches, it is proposed to create several new centers for various purposes. They will be engaged in scientific work, reconnaissance, retraining of personnel, etc. The formation of such structures will begin in fiscal year 2021. The relevant items will be included in the draft defense budget.
The process of forming the organizational structure of the USSF continues and will take some time. At the end of February, the first meeting of the newly created Space Exploration Council will take place. One of the topics of the event will be the improvement of the structure of the Cosmic forces. The Council is likely to make changes to existing plans or come up with new proposals.
Based on the results of current and future events, by May 1, the command should submit to the Ministry of the Air Force a full plan of further actions. After its approval, a new stage of work starts - the process of creating new organizations and, consequently, the final formation of the desired shape of the USSF will begin.
Parts and Units
The formation of the headquarters of the Space Forces continues, and in this context there is a reduction in previously existing plans. Back in December, it was alleged that approx. 1000 military personnel and civilian specialists. The opportunities available so far allow only 800 jobs to be created.
Already in December last year, it was determined which units and formations would transfer to the USSF from the subordination of other army structures. The largest component of the new type of troops was the Space Operations Command - the former 14th Army of the Air Force Space Command. Actually, the Command is located at Vandenburg Air Force Base (California). Five air wings of various purposes, stationed in different parts of the country, obey him.
The 30th and 45th space wings, which are responsible for launching space and ballistic missiles, as well as operating several polygons and cosmodromes, were transferred to the USSF. The 21st wing operates ground-based missile warning systems. The 460th wing is responsible for the satellite constellation SPRN. The 50th wing controls the rest of the group, including systems for various purposes.
An important part of the USSF was the Space and Rocket Systems Center. This organization supported other structures now included in the Space Forces. Similar work will continue in the future.
Now the command of the Space Forces is considering the possibility of interaction with the National Guard and the Reserve. A report on such prospects should be prepared by March 19. What measures will be taken in this area is unknown.
Purchases of material parts, incl. military equipment and weapons for structures now included in the USSF, previously carried out through several organizations. They were occupied by the Center for Space and Rocket Systems, the Space Development Agency and other organizations. This situation does not suit the command, and they plan to change it.
By March 31, a new document should be prepared on the topic of optimizing orders and procurements. USSF will study the current state of affairs and find alternative solutions to such problems. As can be judged by published data, so far there are only the most general proposals without concrete steps.
Outer space is of great interest to the leading countries of the world. All of them are conducting new projects of various kinds, including capable of threatening the interests of other states. Seeing such processes, the Pentagon long ago created developed structures for various purposes - now they are combined into Space Forces and have the status of a separate kind of troops.
Parts of the USSF continue their previous work, although they are subordinate to the new headquarters. Meanwhile, the command of the Space Forces continues to draw up new plans and implement existing ones. The restructuring of the organizations received is ongoing, and new ones are being created. The result of this in a few years will be a fully functional military branch.
In fact, at the moment, the activities of the USSF are reduced mainly to the solution of bureaucratic issues. Operational capabilities are virtually unchanged, because they depend on existing and serving military units. Fundamentally new features and capabilities are also not expected.
Thus, while Cosmic forces remain at the stage of formation and transformation. At the same time, right now the foundation for the future development of the US Space Force is being created, which can lead to remarkable, unexpected or even dangerous results. However, at the moment, all real steps are associated only with documents, plans and estimates, but not with the creation of new systems and threats. How long will the current plans be carried out and what will lead to - time will tell.