National security space policy is at an inflection point. President Biden’s administration has a number of new avenues for progress, but should also continue key Trump-era initiatives.
In 2018, President Trump requested the creation of the U.S. Space Force. Since then three competing visions for its structure have been crafted: one from the Department of Defense and two from the U.S. House and Senate. This brief compares these three legislative proposals to create a new military service for space.
As the administration moves forward with establishing a new military service focused on space, leaders should keep their language clear and use this opportunity to educate the public about both civil and national security space. Keeping NASA and the Space Force separate rhetorically and organizationally is best for national security and for space exploration.
The proposed creation of a new military service for space, known as the Space Force, is likely to be a hotly debated issue in the FY 2020 legislative cycle. This brief provides rough estimates for the number of military and civilian personnel, the number and locations of bases, the budget lines that would transfer to the new organization, and the additional personnel and headquarters organization that would be needed for the new military service.