Huntsville…home of the U.S. Space Force. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
The Trump administration recently challenged the Department of Defense to stand up a branch of the Armed Forces to protect space as a national security priority. A similar sentiment has been expressed on Capitol Hill by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL 3rd District) who has proposed legislation to make this possible with the support of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL 5th District) and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL 1st District) also championing its importance.
I believe Huntsville is the answer to that challenge.
Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy for the U.S. Department of Defense, has described space as contested, congested, and competitive.
- Contested: Jamming of communications satellites could cause unbelievable harm to the world economy and lead to unrest around the world.
- Congested: There are thousands of pieces of space debris and a growing number of satellites traveling above the globe as we speak.
- Competitive: Nations around the world all want to own a piece of the space market…a market the United States has dominated since the Space Race.
For many decades, space has been called “the final frontier.” Calling space “the final frontier” makes its impact on society, as we know it, appear far in the distance. In reality, our reliance on space-related technologies is here and now. Indeed, we could not function without space.
You used “space” when you made a phone call, navigated GPS to find a new restaurant, or visited an ATM to draw quick cash. Platforms in space are used to watch movies and television, manage a credit card, and bring airline travelers safely to their destinations. It provides up to the minute weather information and geological and marine data. Space is part of your life.
There are national security assets in space that track missiles and maintain critical communications to troops on the ground. The Chinese and Russians have both tested anti-satellite weapons. Imagine the damage this could cause if those tests become operational threats.
Designing a Space Force
What does a Space Force look like? That’s hard to say right now. What is easier to say is that it will likely involve consolidating a number of missions into one centralized location. There is no better place for that to happen than here in Huntsville. I believe the Rocket City should be home of a U.S. Space Force.
Huntsville has proven itself capable of taking on large, complex projects. Huntsville is the center for all of the Army’s Aviation, Missile, and Space systems. Did you know the Army is perhaps the largest consumer of space-based information in the military? More than 70 percent of the Army’s major weapons and equipment need satellites to function.
Huntsville is the epicenter for the development of the nation’s missile defense programs that will protect us from intercontinental ballistic missiles. We’re home to the propulsion work for NASA that will take humans back to the Moon and eventually Mars.
As the space environment becomes even more complex, and the risks involved in losing critical assets in space continue to increase, there is no place better equipped than Huntsville to grow space leaders and solutions for a new U.S. Space Force.