Acting Air Force Secretary Donovan: America needs a Space Force – Here’s why

I have spent over 20 years arguing for an independent U.S. Space Force to unleash the full potential of space. President Trump’s decision to ask Congress to approve the creation of a Space Force is an important step forward and deserves bipartisan support.

From my first flight as an Air Force pilot above the Arctic Circle using a handheld GPS, I knew that space capabilities would forever change our world. These capabilities radically shift how we pilot our combat aircraft and how our country can dominate our adversaries on the battlefield.

We should celebrate a new Space Force as a positive step for America. However, the rhetoric surrounding a Space Force often involves distracting attacks on the Air Force, and accusations that we need a new service principally because the Air Force has fallen short in managing space.

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This narrative desperately needs a correction and overlooks decades of tireless dedication and commitment by America’s airmen. It overlooks the unparalleled improvements in spacecraft and satellites promoted and sustained by the Air Force. And it overlooks how the Air Force helped craft a space architecture that revolutionized the world economy and our way of war.

Our national leaders understand our dependency on space and routinely cite the threat of Chinese and Russian anti-satellite capabilities. We are right to focus on these threats and search for ways to preserve our unique advantages in this realm.

Armies, navies, and air forces have always sought new weapons and tactics to counter their opponents, and the same is true in space. Many space systems are vulnerable and must adapt, and we are aggressively pursuing new technologies and concepts to maintain our lead.

Today the Department of the Air Force has a historic opportunity to continue our leadership in space and secure the final frontier for our citizens, friends and allies. The best way to do so is through a new military service, the Space Force. We need this change because it’s the best way to protect America and dominate future warfare.

The Air Force was built on innovative ideas and by pushing the boundaries of imagination. It emerged as a global force not through incremental improvement, but by pursuing a bold vision of the future that beckoned from over the horizon.

Today the Department of the Air Force has a historic opportunity to continue our leadership in space and secure the final frontier for our citizens, friends and allies. The best way to do so is through a new military service, the Space Force.

To stay ahead of our adversaries, we will continue to evolve and realize a new future of decisive space power. This future will demand dedicated professionals focused on space – warfighters and advocates who can design the best theories, doctrine, tactics and equipment to protect our American way of life.

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I am immensely proud of the Air Force’s accomplishments in space. However, while the Air Force produces the best space systems and most professional space operators in the world, it’s time to harness our decades of experience and lead the nation into a new future.

We look forward to this historic moment and working with Congress to help expand this vital area. It’s time for the U.S. Space Force.