US Air Force creates Space Mission Force to prevent war in space

first_imgA war in space is not something I’m sure a lot of people think about as anything other than a science fiction story line or something for humans to deal with many generations from now. But the US Air Force doesn’t agree, and it is taking the required action to ensure that if a war in space does break out, then they are prepared to defend against it.Of course, the space wars we are talking about today do not involve pilots in space involved in dogfights with the enemy. What the Air Force is actually preparing for is an information and communication war, and more specifically any threat that targets key military satellites.You may be surprised to hear that there already exists a number of Space Wings within the Air Force. The 50th Space Wing looks after a range of satellites including the GPS constellation. The 21st Space Wing is focused on “situational awareness ground stations and radars.” And then we have the 460th Space Wing, which looks after the Air Force’s missile warning satellites, and it’s this Wing that is set to become the Space Mission Force.Training to be a member of the Space Wing Force will take between 4-6 months and will be followed by a further 4-6 months working alongside an experienced operator before being fully qualified to, well, defend Earth from above albeit remotely on American soil.For now, the Space Mission Force exists as an 8-page White Paper written by General John E. Hyten, Commander of the Air Force Space Command. The paper is purposefully vague, but outlines how a model is required to prepare “our space forces to meet the challenges of today’s space domain,” and how success “rests on the shoulders of our Airmen.”Ultimately what the Space Mission Force will do is to ensure communication from vital military satellites continues to flow regardless of the situation by countering any attacks effectively, be they physical or digital. That will require some very technically proficient staff, who will ultimately be a collection of Air Force geeks learning all the relevant and modern attack vectors as well as developing their own countermeasures.It seems likely that, if successful in operation, the Space Mission Force will eventually mutate to become the department managing the security of any military craft operating in space, be they drone or manned.last_img

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