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Congress: Space Corps Could Be New Military Branch

Congress: Space Corps Could Be New Military Branch
(NASA)

By    |   Monday, 10 July 2017 07:29 AM

Congress wants to create a "Space Corps" as a new branch of the military according to a new bill in the U.S. House, but the Air Force reportedly is pushing back against the proposal.

The House's National Defense Authorization Act would set up the Space Corps under the umbrella of the Air Force, similar to the model of the Marine Corps, which is a separate military branch housed within the Navy, according to CNN.

Supporters of the idea said the Space Corps is needed to keep the United States ahead of Russia and China as space continues to be a growing military factor and the Air Force is not equipped to meet those needs alone.

"Clearly, we've got some very serious, aggressive behavior by both the Chinese and the Russians in space," U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama told National Public Radio. "They have realized that that's a great equalizer if they can get good at it, and they're getting good at it fast. Unfortunately, we've become, just like every other war-fighting country, very dependent on space.

"… The problem is 90 percent of space in our military is in the Air Force. So what we're basically going to be doing is taking the current infrastructure – for example, Space Command in Colorado Springs will become the headquarters for the Space Corps. We're talking about taking the people that we need to take that deal with space and segregating them into a culture that appreciates them."

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said, though, that such a move would actually harm efforts to ramp up the U.S.'s military space program by adding bureaucracy, reported CNN.

"The Pentagon is complicated enough," Wilson told CNN. "This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart and cost more money. If I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy."

Rogers, though, disagreed with Wilson and her concerns, calling her assessment on NPR, "absolutely wrong."

"The bureaucracy is always going to fight reform – always, especially the Pentagon," Rogers told the broadcaster. They're fighting this because they don't want Congress meddling. You know, what I've told her is, in 16 years, the Air Force has not changed a thing. And they've got us in this situation now where Russia and China have become near peers. They're close to surpassing us. What we're proposing would change that.

But some conservative groups, like the Heritage Foundation, have come out against the proposal, noted CNN.

"In the minds of (House Armed Services Committee) members, the creation of a new service would better focus efforts to innovate and operate in space, but in actuality, it would be costly in terms of headquarters overhead, and would further subdivide those efforts," Tom Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation said, noted CNN.

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Congress wants to create a "Space Corps" as a new branch of the military according to a new bill in the U.S. House, but the Air Force reportedly is pushing back against the proposal.
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2017-29-10
Monday, 10 July 2017 07:29 AM
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