The conversation around the proposed “Space Force” has become increasingly muddled as the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have decided to move forward with two very different bills. Although both bills would see the Space Force put under the Air Force, there is controversy over what part the other military services should play in this new branch. Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International studies, says that the Defense Department is struggling with the question of what programs would move to a dedicated space force.
“First of all, how do you identify what is space related in the other services and what is not? Within the Air Force, it is Air Force Space Command and that will move over,” Harrison said.“ The Navy launches satellites, like the latest generation satellite. Did the Navy transfer money or people? No! They did rename SPAWAR to take the S, the ‘Space’ out of it. They have washed their hands of it and say it is not ours anymore and they are not giving people to go with it. The Army is operating the payloads on the wide-band communication satellites. They are space operators; they have the first space brigade and handle the low‑orbit satellites. Should that transfer to the space force? I think the Army is going to say that they want to keep that and yes, it should.”