SUMMARY

The U.S. Space Force should increase its situational awareness platforms, diversify its portfolio of satellites from low earth orbit to geosynchronous equatorial orbit, and expand its military and commercial platforms to increase resilience. The USSF needs to master SmallSat and CubeSat systems’ offensive capabilities and develop doctrine for every conceivable counterspace mission. Partnership with civil and commercial organizations has increased capabilities while reducing cost and almost every measure of risk, and development of those ties should continue. The USSF should also complete the transfer of Air Force personnel into its ranks by the end of FY 2021, and Congress should grant the USSF the authorities it needs to unify the command and control of all DOD space organizations and personnel.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The U.S. is only now reaching parity with Russia and China’s counter-space capabilities. Dominance depends on Congress accelerating Space Force’s current momentum.
  • The Space Force has been assigned just half of DOD’s space assets and personnel, despite being formed to organize, train, and equip U.S. space forces.
  • The Space Force must be assigned all relevant space and terrestrial-based platforms and personnel portfolio to ensure U.S. operational dominance in this domain.
John Venable

John Venable – Senior Research Fellow for Defense PolicyJohn “JV” Venable, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force is a senior research fellow for defense policy at Heritage.

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