From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
It might sound like science fiction, but a space army might not be the stuff of just galaxies far, far away.
The potential “space army” wouldn’t be looking for techy raccoons, crime-fighting trees, and Chris Pratt to join their ranks, however.
“We want to take the people that are already doing space and tell them to focus on one mission: space dominance,” Rep. Mark Rogers (R-Ala.) told Bloomberg BNA July 13. A new Space Corps also would provide greater opportunities for advancement for the men and women in its ranks, according to Rogers.
The U.S. House of Representatives July 14 passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act and in it, a provision that would create a U.S. Space Corps. The provision, written by Rogers and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), would effectively create a new branch of the U.S Armed Forces within the department of the Air Force.
The provision, Rogers said, would act as a reorganization of the current space resources. Though the Army and Navy have small space divisions, the Space Corps provision would be primarily concerned with the Air Force’s Space Command, which currently makes up about 90 percent of national security’s space forces, he said.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson criticized the idea of a Space Corps, saying it’s unnecessary and would further complicate relations between divisions.
But the “problem is in the Air Force,” Rogers said, adding that “it’s broken.”
The current Space Command and the Air Force have different missions, Rogers said. Space Command’s budget is being “robbed” by the Air Force to focus on air dominance. “We want to build the culture of wanting to be dominant in space.”
The provision, however, wouldn’t expand the size of the Space Command, Rogers said. It would create a new branch of the U.S. Armed Force devoted to space defense—much like what the U.S Marine Corps is to the U.S. Navy.
The reorganization would also give personnel currently in Space Command more opportunities for advancement, Rogers said.
Cooper, who worked on the language of the provision with Rogers, told Bloomberg BNA July 13 that the idea of a Space Corps “should be great news” for those already in Space Command.
“There’s a chance they could be promoted,” Cooper said.
Space Command in 2015 employed over 36,000 men and women at 134 locations around the world, according to the division’s website.
Cooper and Rogers provided an an example of the type of recognition the congressmen said space personnel are lacking by pointing to a list the Defense Department released in March 2017 nominating 37 Air Force colonels to first-star generals. None of the new generals came from Space Command, although one space professional was promoted after the March list was released.
“The Air Force has mainly focused on piloted aircraft,” Cooper said. “We think that space deserves its own identity.”
“I don’t think it’s fair to say that space officers are discriminated against,” a defense scholar and former official who wished to remain anonymous told Bloomberg BNA July 13. The promotions alone don’t indicate anything about how the Air Force views space professionals, he said.
Though there would be a “transitional period in which more people are promoted” if the provision were to become law, he said there’s no guarantee it would continue.
“There is a lot that the legislation just doesn’t address,” the former official said.
For example, he said the Chief of Staff of the Space Corps would be appointed by the secretary of the Air Force, but the Air Force secretary doesn’t necessarily have to appoint the commander of Space Command to that role.
The provision also doesn’t mention what would happen to space professionals in the Air Force who are not specifically in Space Command, he said.
Though the bill passed the house easily, 344-81, defense authorization legislation coming out of the Senate Armed Services Committee doesn’t include a Space Corps provision.
The House bill provision has also gained many critics including the White House and the Air Force. On July 11, the Trump administration released a statement on the NDAA in which it called the establishment of a Space Corps “premature.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
The House-passed defense bill can be found at http://src.bna.com/qOo.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)