Space warfare: US Air Force gearing up for future 'space conflict' by expanding space divisions

India Ashok
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The US Air Force is now increasingly focusing on boosting its space divisions. On Friday (16 June), Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson created a new three-star general position for a new Deputy Chief of Staff for Space Operations.

The new military shakeup comes even as China and Russia continue to strengthen their space warfare efforts. The Air Force is yet to name the officer to command its expanding space warfare division. The new directorate is expected to be operational by August.

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"This is the next step in our effort to integrate, normalize and elevate space operations in the Air Force," said Wilson. "The United States is dependent on space and our adversaries know it. We must organize and train forces to be able to prevail in any future conflict which could extend into space."

Although the Air Force already has a space command, the new directorate will work to consolidate the Air Force's various space-based operations and efforts. The US Congress and various US lawmakers have been pressurising the military to boost their space warfare divisions. Some politicians are not satisfied with the new positions created by the Air Force.

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Alabama representative Mike Rogers recently called for a separate space force division within the
Department of Defence (DoD) while speaking at a Space Symposium.

"We have to acknowledge the national security space organizational structure is broken, and, we are at a time when space is contested like never before," Rogers said, DefenceOne reported. "Simply put, space must be a priority and it can't be one if you jump out of bed in the morning thinking about fighters and bombers first."

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While space warfare may seem futuristic, international governments are increasingly growing concerned of a potential conflict in space. The nature of such a threat compelled a global committee made up of academicians, scientists, lawyers and representatives of various governments to come together to work out a rule-book for future space war.

The US government appears to have no intention of lagging behind as evidenced by its new military shakeup.

"Today, we begin the process of standing up a new organization at the Pentagon that will be responsible for recruiting, training and equipping airmen involved in the space mission. The establishment of the deputy chief of staff for space operations is the next step toward ensuring that we maintain space superiority," Wilson said.

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