Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) addressed the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce at their monthly ‘Eggs and Issues’ breakfast event on Tuesday.
Rogers said that the U.S. needs to create the Space Force as its own independent branch of the Armed Forces. Rogers said that last year Congress asked the Defense Department to do a study on the Space Force idea last year and that report will be released today, requesting that Congress create the new service branch.
When Rogers was asked about the Space Force, he said, “I am glad that you asked about the Space Force. This is my baby.”
“Our committee made the recommendation after three years of study,” Rep. Rogers said. While the House was ready to order the Space Force created last year, the Senate was not ready yet and asked the defense department to do a study due by August 1.
“A research company has been hired to study how to implement a space force so that we could do that in next year’s NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). They are releasing their report tomorrow. The Defense Department is going to request a Space Force tomorrow.
Rogers said that there has been very little debate on this. “It is very bipartisan.” The recommendation came out of the House Armed Services Committee sixty-three to three.
A member of the audience asked how much this was going to cost.
Rogers said that it will not be that costly; because they will take existing military personnel and separate them in to their own service and take existing civilian personnel and separate them in to their own service, the new Space Force.
Rogers said that one of the criticisms that they have had with the current organization is that space has not been a good career path for Air Force officers.
“The last 36 full bird colonels who were nominated to be generals, how many of them were space professionals? Zero,” Rep. Rogers said.
Rep. Rogers said that 90 percent of our space assets are in the Air Force. There is a small mission in the Navy and a small mission in the Army up at Redstone.
“Colorado Springs will likely be the headquarters for Space Command,” Rep. Rogers said. “It will not be a new bureaucracy. It will just be separate.”
“People don’t realize how dependent we have become on space,” Roger said. Smart phone rely on satellites, television, GPS, communications are all dependent on satellites. That is our eyes and ears up there. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that is the future. The last administration was criticized for being overly reliant on UAVs to kill terrorists. All of that is guided by satellites.
“China and Russia have realized how dependent that we are on satellites,” Rogers said. “They have got offensive capabilities….and that is all that I can say in this room. We need our own offensive capability so that if they mess with our satellite s they know we will takes their out.”
The Alabama Political Reporter noted, as is common with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, that there were a number of Air Force personnel in attendance including one Lieutenant General.
Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District.