Space Force Birthday: The U.S. Space Force Turns 2
The U.S. Space Force: Two Years After Launch
The 6th Dimension of Warfare
On December 20, 2019, the National Defense Authorization Act established the U.S. Space Force (USSF), America’s 6th military service branch. This was the first time in 73 years that a new military branch was created.
The U.S. Space Force Mission
“The USSF is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way our joint and coalition forces fight, while also offering decision makers military options to achieve national objectives.”
The purpose behind the creation of the USSF was to create a military branch that would focus solely on the space domain, which is the fastest growing area of conflict among developed nations. Everything we do every day runs through space. From our cell phones, GPS navigation systems, financial markets and economic information, all depend on the capabilities of our space-borne infrastructure.
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Space Force Organization
The USSF is headquartered at the Pentagon along with its sister services. As a new military service, the Space Force “will leverage the Department of the Air Force for more than 75% of its enabling functions.” This reduces costs associated with standing up a new service.
Currently, General John W. Raymond serves as the Chief of Space Operations and reports directly to the Secretary of the Air Force.
As of now, personnel from the other services are in the process of transferring over to the Space Force. The process is highly selective and takes a lot of time to complete. The snags that current service members are running into while transferring to the Space Force were expected, and hopefully they can be ironed out as more service members apply for future openings.
Space Force Locations
So far, there are a few locations around the country where the Space Force can operate. In addition to their headquarters at the Pentagon, the Space Force maintains bases in Colorado, California, and Florida.
It is unknown at this time where the Space Force will expand next, if at all. What we do know is that they already have a training base for new Guardians in Colorado. Additionally, the Space Force has taken over what used to be Patrick Air Force Base in Satellite Beach, Florida. Renamed to Patrick Space Force Base, this location gives the Space Force access to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, which seems fitting for this new service.
Symbols & Symbolism of the Space Force
Despite popular belief, the Space Force symbol is not a knock-off of the Star Trek symbol. The Delta symbol was first used in 1961 and pays homage to the US Air Force and its Space Command.
The Space Force motto, Semper Supra, means “Always Above”. It signifies their mission and the importance it plays to the success of every other warfighting capability in the US military.
The solid silver border of the Delta represents defense and protection from threats in the space domain.
The four beveled elements signify the support the Space Force receives from the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.
The two spires inside the Delta signify the action of a rocket launch and the role the Space Force has in the space domain.
Polaris is the star in the center of the Delta which represents the core values and how they guide the mission of the Space Force.
To Infinity, and Beyond…Eventually
While it’s easy for us to imagine the Space Force expanding into things like Star Trek, Star Wars, StarGate, or Toy Story, the reality is much different than our expectations during the first few years.
Yes, the USSF is focused specifically on warfare in the space domain. However, they still need to get their personnel numbers up. They need to establish their lessons-learned and best practices to bridge the gap between where they are and where they need to be.
Most importantly, the Space Force needs to do all this at warp speed to maintain the tactical advantage necessary to our National Security.
Happy Birthday, Space Force!
It is a great honor to wish the United States Space Force a Happy 2nd Birthday. These Guardians have accomplished so much in just their first 24 months of service.
We look forward to watching and reporting all future accomplishments and discoveries that will surely come from this new service branch.
Happy Birthday, Guardians!
(Images courtesy of U.S. Space Force)
About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.