Thursday, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump (R), the Secretary of Defense established the United States Space Command to ensure space superiority. Supporters says that the United States Space Command strengthens our ability to deter conflict and ensure unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in, space.
Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Saks, released a statement in support of the President’s decision. Rogers has long advocated for more resources devoted to space warfare and has advocated for making Space Command its own separate military branch – Space Force.
“As Congress continues consideration of the Space Force in the NDAA conference committee, I am thrilled President Trump is taking decisive action to align our current space missions to make them a more effective war fighting force.”
“We’re gathered here in the Rose Garden to establish the United States Space Command.” Pres. Trump said. “It’s a big deal. As the newest combatant command, SPACECOM will defend America’s vital interests in space — the next warfighting domain. And I think that’s pretty obvious to everybody. It’s all about space.”
Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joe Maguire, Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, and Congressman Mike Turner.
Trump announced that Lieutenant General Jay Raymond will be the new commander of SPACECOM.
“The United States combatant commands were developed to join branches of our armed forces in common cause across diverse fields of battle,” Trump explained. “Each of the United States military’s combatant commands has an area of responsibility, from CENTCOM, which oversees our mission in the Middle East, to our most recent, CYBERCOM, which we established just last year to protect Americans from the most advanced cyber threats and also to create very, very severe and powerful offensive threats, should we need them. The dangers to our country constantly evolve, and so must we.”
“Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home,” said Trump. “Our freedom to operate in space is also essential to detecting and destroying any missile launched against the United States.”
“Under General Raymond’s leadership, SPACECOM will boldly deter aggression and outpace America’s rivals, by far,” Trump said. “SPACECOM will soon be followed, very importantly, by the establishment of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. And that’s really something, when you think about it. The Space Force will organize, train, and equip warriors to support SPACECOM’s mission.”
“From our nation’s first days, America’s military blazed the trails and crossed the frontiers that secured our nation’s future,” Trump said. “No adversary on Earth will ever match the awesome courage, skill, and might of American Armed Forces. Today, we salute the heroic men and women who will serve in SPACECOM and keep America’s horizons forever bright and forever free. We have budgets, since we came into the administration, since the election of 2016 — since January 20th, of 2017, we have done things with the military that few people would have thought possible. Budgets of $700 billion, $716 billion, and now $738 billion. Nobody would have thought that that was possible, but we had them approved by Republicans and Democrats. And that money is now building the most advanced equipment anywhere one Earth — equipment that nobody even could have conceived of, even two years ago. It’s very necessary. And hopefully we’ll never have to use it.”
“Mr. President, thank you for hosting us today,” Gen. Raymond said. “In doing so, you honor the airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines that secure our high ground for our nation. On behalf of those men and women, we’d like to present you with a small memento that reads, “United States Space Command Establishment: 29 August 2019.” On behalf of the space warfighters, thank you for your leadership.”
The U.S. previously created a Space Command in 1985 during President Ronald W. Reagan’s second term. SPACECOM was shut down in 2002 to devote more resources to the War on Terrorism.
Not everyone welcomed this militarization of space. Lena De Winne with Asgardia said that the move undermines neutrality in space and that Asgardia cannot condone that move.
“Donald Trump yesterday launched a new Pentagon command focused on warfare in space. SpaceCom or Space Command is designed to combat what the US administration sees as a growing threat to its extra-terrestrial national interests from China and Russia,” De Winne said. “It marks an escalation of global superpowers moving to increase their influence on space as space exploration and colonization edges closer to reality.”
“While global powers on Earth may view this as a necessary step in the battle for supremacy in space, for those that see space as an opportunity to live away from the damaging influence of geo-politics this is hugely concerning,” De Winne said. “As one of the organizations looking to make human habitation in space reality, Asgardia cannot condone this move, which they judge to undermine the neutrality of space. Humankind has made tremendous advancements through the global cooperation of the International Space Station and it is surely in this spirit that space exploration, colonization should surely continue.”
“One of the key missions of Asgardia is to provide a home in space for humans, to safeguard the human race in a peaceful environment – far away from the weapons on Earth that have the potential to destroy our species,” Lester added. “This announcement from President Trump undermines all notions of space being a peaceful environment. Instead, it transitions the battleground of the global super-powers from Earth to space.”
President Trump revived the National Space Council to develop modern national space policy.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District.