Department of Defense Reports on Establishing a Unified Combatant U.S. Space Command

small space craft over the earth surface in spaceAccording to the latest report published by the Department of Defense, it is imperative to highlight the importance of creating a new strategy for engagement in space. To that end, DoD follows the Presidential proposal to establish the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Space Force. The report outlines a unified combatant U.S. Space Command patterned on U.S. Special Operations Command and its global outreach. The current pool of potential recruits includes roughly 18,000 service members who already possess a space qualifier badge, as well as a number of civilian personnel with relevant expertise.

Presented in the report are the following key strategic functions of the proposed command:

  • Persistent global surveillance for advanced missile targeting,
  • Indications, warning, targeting and tracking for defense against advanced missile threats,
  • Global and near-real time space situational awareness,
  • Development of deterrent capability,
  • Highly-scaled, low-latency, persistent, artificial intelligence-enabled global surveillance.

All of the above will serve toward the main two national security objectives: [1] protecting U.S. vital interests in space; and [2] deploying next generation capabilities to support the warfighter. Given the growing threat to U.S. space capabilities, “new space capabilities will unlock innovative operations concepts” and “increase U.S. flexibility and complicate adversary planning.”

More information can be found in the HSDL Featured Topic on Space Policy & National Security. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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