On Dec. 20, 2019, the United States Space Force was established, creating the first new branch of the armed services in more than 70 years. With its third anniversary approaching, now’s a great chance for us to learn more about what the Space Force has been up to. What is the Space Force? Why was it created in the first place? What is it doing now? If you’ve ever wanted to know more about our newest branch of the military, now’s your chance!
What Is the United States Space Force?
For many of us, the military battlefield evokes images of battles on land, at sea or through the air. But a new battlefield has been added: Space. The United States Space Force is the newest branch of our armed forces, organized under the Department of the Air Force, with thousands of military members called Space Force Guardians. The Space Force “is responsible for organizing, training and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way our joint and coalition forces fight, while also offering decision-makers military options to achieve our national objectives,” according to its mission statement.
Their motto “Semper Supra” means “Always Above” and highlights the new reality that space has become essential to the way our modern military conducts operations, so much so that we need a branch of the military dedicated to its defense, just like we do for air, land and sea.
Why Is the Space Force So Important?
The Space Force was created out of the necessity for the United States to enhance its competitive edge in space. Our military leaders understand that the battlefield is changing, and we must be ready to adapt to new challenges, including the growing threats we face in space.
Whether we realize it or not, space affects almost every part of our daily lives and has become essential to our security and prosperity. The satellites we have in space connect people in every part of the world, allow us to surf the web, control our navigation services and GPS systems, monitor severe weather patterns, broadcast the shows we watch, power the financial networks across the globe, synchronize our cell phone networks and much more. Space Delta 8, a unit located within Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado, is responsible for all our GPS operations. A total of 170 Guardians, Airmen and civilians make sure that the satellite constellation is operating properly 24/7.
Space Force Guardians also monitor and control every military satellite, providing important navigational data for ground and air operations and vital links to the field. These satellites enhance the communication capabilities of first responders, keep track of severe weather systems, monitor ballistic missile launches around the world and much more.
What Has the Space Force Accomplished So Far?
In the past three years, the Space Force has been busy. It has established a fully functioning headquarters in the Pentagon and has begun training and equipping Guardians to meet the demands of this new battlefield in space. The Space Force has consolidated space missions from across the armed forces into the Space Force making the organization more streamlined and mission ready.
The Space Force now has six locations spread out between Colorado, California and Florida. Learn more about each location and its function by exploring their websites.
The Space Force also has a growing University Partnership Program, which now stands at 14 different universities, including the University of Puerto Rico, Arizona State University, Howard University and more. These partnerships are designed to encourage collaboration in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, seeking out the best minds in the nation to help solve problems and operate sophisticated platforms.
What’s Next for the Space Force?
The Space Force has made great progress in its first three years, and it looks to build on it, gearing up for expanded operations, completing more in-depth training exercises, improving satellite architecture and design, growing its ranks, expanding public-private partnerships and much more. The Space Force realizes “there’s no such thing as a day without space.”
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about our newest branch of the military, now’s your chance!
A good way to keep up with what the Space Force is doing is by monitoring the Space Force website and following them on social media. Twitter (@SpaceForceDoD) and the United States Space Force Facebook page both post regular updates on what’s happening, including new partnerships, Guardian graduations, Q and As with Space Force leadership, photos and videos, and much more.