The U.S. Air Force has released plans for its new Space Mission Force initiative. It aims to transform soldiers into military satellite operators in order to defend America by utilizing its space capabilities.
The creator of this new initiative is General John Hyten, the head of the Air Force Space Command. He detailed his plans in a recently released eight-page paper called Space Mission Force: Developing Space Warfighters for Tomorrow. In the paper, the generals states that:
“The training and skills that sustained our space operations for the last several decades are not the same skills we need to fight through threats and win in today’s contested, degraded and operationally‐limited environment.”
He also urges the need to quickly adopt this transformation in order for the military to avoid any loss of competitive advantage. Other Air Force officials have said that the program is crucial as we see space having a greater role in the Defense Department’s daily operations.
In the past, the Air Force has used a limited number of space aggressor squadrons to train for potential battles in space and defend satellites. The new initiative proposes for the Space Mission Force to have a much greater number of operators trained to respond to threats in an increasing contested environment.
“Our space forces must demonstrate their ability to react to a thinking adversary and operate as warfighters in this environment.”
The specifics of the plan require operators to receive intensive training for a period of up to six months, followed by another six months to put their new skills to the test by having experienced and rookie operators working side-by-side.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, currently, there are 1,380 satellites orbiting Earth. With 149 of these satellites are under the control of the US military, and some are being used by either various US Departments or allied countries among which have their own military satellites in orbit. France has eight, Germany seven, Israel nine and the UK has seven.
With this new initiative, it seems that the US will look to space not only as the ultimate frontier in exploration but also in regards to national security and international conflicts.
What do you think about the Air Force’s new initiative?
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