Star Trek has Starfleet, Star Wars has the Imperial Navy, and Halo has the United Nations Space Command. But for the moment, real-life Earthlings of the United States don’t have a cool sci-fi name for their space military.
That could change soon. Legislation has been drafted by the House Armed Services Committee to form the “Space Corps” — a new branch of the US military that would come under the command of the Air Force, and deal with threats to American national security occurring outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
The draft legislation was worked up by both Republican and Democrat House representatives, who said that there was “bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” Representative Jim Cooper (D) and Mike Rogers (R) said in a statement that they were “convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems.”
The Air Force currently has its own Space Command wing, but should the new legislation become law, it would require the creation of the Space Corps “as a separate military service responsible for national security space programs for which the Air Force is today responsible.” Said Space Corps would no doubt carry on some of the secretive projects that Air Force Space Command is currently undertaking in the upper reaches of our atmosphere, but could also (theoretically) be called upon to defend Earth against extraterrestrial threats one day.
That’s if the Space Corps idea isn’t shot down before it can blast off, anyway. The Air Force is currently against the formation of a new branch, arguing that it would cause organizational confusion and delay existing projects. “I don’t support it at this time,” Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein said in May. “I would say that we keep that dialog open, but right now I think it would actually move us backwards,”
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