Space Force doings


"The fledgling U.S. Space Force's Space Delta 9 is tasked with performing a mission set that the service describes as orbital warfare. This includes keeping an eye out for potentially hostile activity in space, as well as deterring those threats and even potentially defeating them, according to the unit's official website. Publicly, it provides this support primarily through various space-based surveillance and communications systems, but, interestingly, it is also responsible for overseeing the operations of the experimental X-37B mini space shuttle, the exact mission and capabilities of which remain obscure.

Space Force highlighted the intriguing orbital warfare mission of Space Delta 9, as part of the larger array of capabilities within its new Space Operations Command (SpOC), in a Tweet earlier this week. The unit had first come into existence in July and had previously been known as the Air Force's 750th Operations Group, which had only been activated and assigned to that service's 50th Space Wing the month before. 50th Space Wing, headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, was also transferred to the newest branch of America's armed forces that month, at which time it was rebranded as the Peterson-Schriever Garrison."  the war zone



In re the X37B.  OK.  What the hell does this flying widget actually do?  It is taken up into orbit by one of the launch companies, released and then DOES WHAT?  Some of the people who read here think that the US Government cannot keep secrets.  They are wrong.  I, personally, have participated in the keeping of many, many government secrets that have NEVER leaked over a period of time that matches my ancientness.  Soo … The flummery that the government has proclaimed over exactly WHAT the X-37B does should not be accepted without examination.

And then there is the major structural reorganization of the Space Force that is reflected in the link "The Peterson-Schriever Garrison" above.  Read the article it leads to.  What we are seeing is the emergence of a new armed force that will be different in many ways from the USAF.  The structure described has little in common with USAF structure and the interesting re-naming of USAF bases as "garrisons" as they are taken over by Space Force is indicative of the desire for separation.  

Space Force and USAF are two separate services within the Department of the Air Force in the same way that USMC and US Navy are separate armed forces within the Department of the Navy.

This process of separation is accelerating.  pl

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17 Responses to Space Force doings

  1. The chart makes me wonder if we had have success reverse engineering a UFO that crashed on Earth. The DOD confirms UAPs/UFOs are real via the 3 released tapes. Gimbal(2015 East Coast Virginia), Nimitz(2003 West Coast), and the 3rd video(Not sure where).
    I was an atheist when it came to UFOs/ETs before the 2017 NY Times article. But the videos changed my mind along with the testimony of the pilot Cmdr. David Fravor and others.
    The most recent 2020 NY Times article by Leslie Kane and Ralph Blumenthal regarding this subject was very interesting.
    Great interview with authors after latest NY Times article. They disclose more information.
    So after watching the IR radar on the Gimbal incident I ordered a book on Roswell. Witness to Roswell. Investigative journalist Thomas J. Carey.
    I believe Major Marcell on what he saw. This is the first site of wreckage. The book deals with a possible second site of wreckage about 25 miles away that was the UFO capsule and recovered by the USAF.
    Interesting times we live in.

  2. JM Gavin says:

    I am not a space expert (I’m a retired 18Z), but I have worked very closely with space folks.
    For several years, there have been two competing views of the space domain within relevant DoD elements. While the two views could be complimentary, they aren’t. Battle lines were drawn within the components years ago; the fledging Space Force is populated by folks from both sides of the debate. I call the two sides “the terrestrials” and “the space geeks.”
    The “terrestrials” see space operations solely in terms of how space can be leveraged as an adjunct to traditional land/sea/air operations on Planet Earth. The terrestrials have little interest in allocating resources to space operations which aren’t directly tied to supporting land/air/sea operations. The typical terrestrials are USAF and USN aviators and Army artillery and missile defense folks. The terrestrials have been the dominant voice in the debate simply due to the fact that most of the Type-A folks ascribe to this view, and most of the senior officers in the debate come from this sort of background.
    The “space geeks” see the potential of space as its own domain, one in which future conflicts will be fought without any actions occurring on Earth. The space geeks advocate aggressive actions to “prep the environment” and take advantage of our current technological superiority to lay claim to space domination. The space geeks tend to be Type-B folks, most of whom have lots of PhDs and academic accolades, but aren’t traditional “shooters.”
    When I read of miniature space shuttles being fielded by the Space Force, I see it as a victory by the Space Geeks, and a sign that their point of view may be gaining traction.

  3. JM Gavin,
    Your “terrestrials” and “space geeks” dichotomy sounds about right. Unfortunately, without all that orbital stuff, Space Force would still be no more than a concept within the Pentagon and, probably, NASA. Even the X-37B is orbital. I’m not overly impressed by this shuttle except for the fact that it functions more as a reusable, unmanned low Earth orbit space station with its two year missions than as a shuttle. Now if we start seeing two year missions to lunar Lagrange points, we will know the space geeks are making headway.
    Beyond that, I do think Space Force is doing a good job in defining itself as something different from the other services. I’m glad it didn’t take the space navy route and came up with deltas as an organizational foundation. But out of necessity, Space Force will remain orbital in focus for quite some time. Perhaps NASA and SpaceX will drive a future change in focus. I hear they have something planned for swearing in their first officer in space with Colonel Michael “Hopper” Hopkins, the commander of the next NASA-SpaceX mission.

  4. JM Gavin says:

    I’m not sure that many folks in the services expected POTUS to direct the establishment of Space Force. At that time, I was working daily with a crew of Army space officers. They were understandably concerned about being moved to Space Force. To date, I don’t believe that has happened. There was also concern about all the smart space folks being sucked away from their parent services, leaving no one in the military outside of Space Force that understands both the true potential of space operations as an adjunct to earthly combat, and the possibilities the space geeks are chasing.

  5. JMG,
    I don’t think any service willingly gives up people, billets or missions. Nothing new there. I just saw where Army General Dickinson took command of US SPACECOM. I don’t know if he wants to go Space Force or eventually retire as Army. Back in 1985 I had the chance to go 18 and give up my 11. I decided I wanted to stay Infantry. I had my beret, flash, tab and team so I thought the crossed arrows would be overkill. Later as a civilian, I was assigned to a SMU so not taking the 18 didn’t affect me at all. To this day, I’m glad I retired as an Infantry officer just for tradition’s sake.
    For a potential flashpoint for Space Force initiation to space combat, we have the Moon. Trump has made it clear that we want to extract resources from the Moon for our own use. Russia has taken umbrage at this idea and I’m sure China will do the same. Russia plans to take it up with the UN. Things could get interesting there in the future.

  6. turcopolier says:

    What you chose to do about branch insured that you would have NO friends in MILPERCEN.

  7. pl,
    MILPERCEN… screw those guys. The only time I got what I wanted from those pricks was getting 10th Group after the SF Officers Course. The only reason I got that was through the intervention of a Major Stilwell of the G3 shop who went to DC on behalf of the 25th Division CG to argue on my behalf. I was laying in traction and my right arm in a caste in ward 44 of Tripler Hospital with a suction tube in my side trying to reinflate one of my lungs when Major Stilwell asked for my assignment preferences. He got all excited when I told him I wanted the Advanced Course as soon as I could walk. That would give me six months or so to heal enough for the SF Course. I was also adamant that I wanted 10th Group. Stilwell carried the message. While at Benning, the assignments officer had several pages of handwritten notes from Stillwell’s visit. The assignments officer seemed miffed when he noted that I apparently had some powerful advocates. That was the one and only time I got what I wanted from MILPERCEN.
    That Major Stilwell was an early company commander in the fairly new Ranger Battalion before coming to the 25th and was related to Vinegar Joe. A friend at the Advanced Course told me he was known as “The Skull” due to his facial scars. He probably scared the Bejeezus out of that MILPERCEN twerp.

  8. turcopolier says:

    They didn’t much like me either but I was useful in a wide variety of roles and people who did the government’s actual work kept asking for my assignment to their activity. The rank levels of these positions kept rising. At a dinner at our quarters in Jiddah, a visiting colonel who had been in colonel’s branch in MILPERCEN announced that I was one of a “select” group of colonels who had a red turkey bird stamped on the outside of their records’ jacket. He said that indicated that these people would “go anywhere, do anything needed and probably would come back alive.” For a moment I thought SWMBO would throw him out of the house. DOL

  9. turcopolier says:

    I was not clear enough. For you to survive as an officer in the US Army there has to be some part of MILPERCEN or whatever they call it now, that thinks you belong to them. By staying an infantryman but insisting on doing duty in SF and clan HUMINT you made yourself an orphan. I never went that far but also never had a three or four star “mentor.”

  10. JM Gavin says:

    TTG/COL Lang-
    My entire career occurred after the creation of CMF 18. I view SF Branch as being a bad development on the whole, as it made it more difficult to get rid of substandard performers (which isn’t an issue within 75th or SMU elements). I started out Infantry (in 75th). When I passed the SFQQC, remaining 11-series wasn’t an option.
    Space Force personnel have an advantage over Special Forces qual’d folks from your generation (pre-CMF 18). Space Force is a component, instead of being just a new branch or CMF. They will avoid some of the inter-CMF rivalry and MILPERCEN nonsense (now referred to generically as “HRC” and “Branch”, as in “Stilwell carried the message to Branch at HRC”).

  11. turcopolier says:

    JM Gavin
    US Space Force is not a “component.” You know that.

  12. JM Gavin says:

    Indeed, you are correct. Space Force is a service branch. I’m stuck in USSOCOM-lingo, in which we refer to the “service components” (USASOC, MARSOC, NSW, and AFSOC).

  13. pl,
    You are absolutely right about career management and survival as an Army officer. That’s why I retired from the Reserves rather than Active duty. I could have gone Great Skills as a HUMINT officer, but I was too pig headed to give up the crossed rifles. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Not the ups. Not the downs. I enjoyed every career move, every challenge and did it all on my terms.

  14. JMG,
    CMF-18 was much needed for SF NCOs. For those soldiers who spent most of their careers in Group, having to compete for promotion with those with the same MOS outside of Group was a gross inequity. When I was in Group the policy of direct enlistment into SF was started. Most of my NCOs thought that was bullshit. They all thought that initial experience in a regular unit was a key part of their growth as an SF NCO. I don’t know if officers can now do the same. If so, it’s a mistake. Time as a platoon leader in combat arms should be a prerequisite for acceptance into SF branch.
    On the original subject of this post, it will be interesting to see how Space Force handles these issues.

  15. turcopolier says:

    I particularly dislike calling the Regular Army the Active Force. You were a reserve officer on extended active duty as my father was. In what sense were you not a member of the active force?

  16. pl,
    I was commissioned through ROTC as an RA 2LT as opposed to a USAR or AUS commission. I remained on active duty until transfering to Reserve status to attend MOTC as an Army civilian (MICECP). I remained on Reserve status while being an Army civilian case officer and later a DIA/DOD case officer. I did a 3 or 4 week active duty for training tour yearly until my retirement. Since my retirement was from the Reserves, my retirement pay didn’t kick in until I reached 60. I know the RA, AUS and USAR terminology changed over time. I don’t thing the AUS is used anymore.

  17. turcopolier says:

    IMO you never really JOINED the Army, just kind of a lark on the road to… somewhere. AUS was the WW2 expansion of the officer corps. It came to an end with the inactivation of the draft in 17974. My father was simultaneously a CWO in the Regular Army, a major in the AUS and an officer of USAR. He finally retired from USAR as a LTC like you. I was simultaneously an RA officer and an AUS officer until 1974. A passover in either component counted toward the “two passovers and you’re out” policy. You were separately considered in both components.

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