The U.S. Space Force that President Trump is advocating will be in some ways a big change and in some ways only a small change from the U.S. military of today. Currently, we use space to leverage our capabilities on land, sea and air to provide combat dominance. It has literally forced our enemies to either stay within their borders or be very surreptitious about their movements. Both China and Russia had to make their recent moves in the South China Sea and Crimea, gradually and only with a weak-willed U.S. president.
Why? Because today with space-based sensors, we know immediately what every major military is doing in the world. We also can attack those militaries with an integrated military force that is deeply connected with space-based communications. These forces depend on armed drones overhead that are being flown from the United States using space-based communications to drop weapons, accurately using space-based GPS, without risking a pilot. No aircraft carrier or large troop forces are required. The US stomped out ISIS in Syria in months with a U.S. force of less than 2,000, but with a space force of tens of thousands back in the U.S.
With a new Space Force, they will begin to advocate a budget for the Military in Space with a different priority than an Air Force trying to buy 1,700 F-35 fighters.
Imagine re-designing our space-based sensors to provide 24/7 coverage. No deployed drones or maintenance people would be required overseas. We could do so much from just right here.
Imagine, instead of flying drones with weapons, we put those drones in space. We could drop bombs within 45 minutes of a request. Those bombs would be just as accurate. They could: sink a ship stopping oil traffic, like in the Straits of Hormuz, destroy a truck as it penetrates a border, like in Crimea, penetrate an underground nuclear facility, like in Iran, or destroy a runway on a remote island, like the Spratly Islands.
Forty-five minutes from request to completion.
It doesn’t stop with weapons. We can reach beyond and provide 45-minute logistic support. We could send equipment halfway around the world in that time. Using technologies such as inflatable reentry vehicles and GPS guided parachutes, we can use reusable rockets like the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage and deliver globally.
Imagine special operations troops that get in trouble and need specialty support immediately. We could, in just a few years, modify our logistics delivery to deliver troops. Rocket powered “space assaults” that deliver dozens of troops to any location at any time.
The U.S. Space Force will be a capability that will revolutionize the way the US employs its military power. We will maintain military dominance while saving dollars and US lives. With this capability we’ll need a brand-new world of military and civilian leadership that can strategically employ this new Spacepower.