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Kaitlyn Johnson, Deputy Director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS, discusses what the Space Force achieved and was not able to finish in its first year

The Space Force is approaching its first full trip around the Sun, as the nation’s newest military branch officially turns one year old later this week. An official doctrine, headquarters in the Pentagon and two new bases are among the achievements for the force in its inaugural year. While there is reason to celebrate, Kaitlyn Johnson, Deputy Director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS, says there are some key areas to look to improve in year two.

“Something that I’m looking for is how they address these major acquisition problems that have plagued the space system for a long time and is one of the reasons why the Space Force was really founded,” Johnson said.

To help this process, Space Force aims to establish the Space Systems Command in the coming year to oversee acquisition. Acquisition for the branch is currently overseen by Will Roper, who serves in the same role for the Air Force. Johnson also explained how while the branch has established an independent organization for space operations in the U.S. military, much of the first-year actions fall in line with previous space policy.

“Nothing has been so groundbreaking that it’s a huge departure than what was done in space previously by the Air Force,” Johnson said. “We’re really seeing a reaffirming of policies, a reaffirming of doctrine that was perhaps understood but was not stated in this formal way.”

The Space Force was established on December 20, 2019, as President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law.


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