White House, Pentagon lay out official Space Force plan


Defense News Air Warfare Reporter Valerie Insinna, Defense One Global Business Editor Marcus Weisgerber and Bloomberg Government Senior Defense Analyst Robert Levinson, discuss the Pentagon’s plan to stand up a Space Force, and what it means for the Department of Defense’s structure.

On Thursday, Vice President Pence announced the path to standing up an official “United States Space Force.” Speaking at the Pentagon, he laid out the path to expand space personnel, establish a combatant command, and appoint a new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space. Defense reporters have combed through the information, and provided some of their observations on this edition of the Federal Beat round-table.


Valerie Insinna, Air Warfare Reporter, Defense News–

“The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Pat Shanahan, he talked to reporters and was asked ‘What does this mean For Air Force Space Command?’ Right now, There’s not really a great answer. It is going to be decided over the next couple of months… I looked up the press release from 2002 where Space Command was merged into STRATCOM. It was kind of hilarious because the reason given was that the combination of Space Command and Strategic Command in one single package would lead to greater agility and efficiency, which is the exact argument here for creating this new U.S. Space Command. It’s hilarious how cyclical these arguments are.”


Marcus Weisgerber, Global Business Editor, Defense One–

“Another thing we still don’t know about… where do the intelligence organizations fall in all of this? NRO, NGA, a lot to do with space. When Representative Mike Rogers was proposing a Space Corps, we heard a lot about them being part of it. We’ll need to see if they will be a part of this eventual Space Force.”


Robert Levinson, Senior Defense Analyst, Bloomberg Government–

“The [Assistant Secretary for Space] may come from the space industry. It might be interesting to see if they come from the ‘new space industry.’

What if you brought somebody over from SpaceX, because you want to be agile and SpaceX has been really good at that.

If they really want to shake things up, maybe that’s a place they might look for one of these newer space people, as opposed to the old line NASA traditional.”