The Importance Of A Space Force Image Credit: Geopolitics
The Importance Of A Space Force Image Credit: Geopolitics

The Importance Of A Space Force

Looking at the role played by the US Air Force in space-related activities in the past decades, HARINI MADHUSUDAN finds out its relevance for the Indian Air Force in the Indian Space domain

In March 2018, President Donald Trump proposed the United States Space Force (USSF) as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces and in August 2018, Vice President Mike Pence announced the plan to establish the Space Force by 2020. Its primary intention is to hold control over the US’ military operations in Outer Space by absorbing the command operations and duties of the Air Force Space Command. Currently, the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) handles most of US’s military operations in Space along with the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) which is a unified command that supports US military operations worldwide through the use of many different types of satellites, cyber and launch operations.

The Air Force Space Command was established in 1982 with three primary mission areas: Space forces support, Space control and force enhancement with a goal to “provide resilient and affordable space and cyber space capabilities for the joint force and the nation.” What is the relevance of a separate space force today? What can other space-faring nations take away from this announcement? What can India learn from this?

In the case of India, the armed forces have been considering the establishment of an aerospace command for over a decade now. In the year 2003, the then IAF Chief Air Marshal S Krishnaswamy had expressed the need for such a command. In 2006, IAF established the Directorate of Aerospace, visualised with a sep

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