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As part of this year’s military budget bill, the Senate has eliminated a House proposal that the military create a new military branch called the “Space Corps.”
The bill also completely overhauls the management of the military’s space effort, as described in detail here.
The NDAA conference report blasts the Air Force for a “broken national security space enterprise,” strips key authorities from the service and shifts much of the management of military space to the deputy secretary of defense.
The second link focuses on the management changes, while the first reviews in great detail the Senate’s budget proposals, which (surprise, surprise!) give the military more money.
In addition to changes in space-related policy, the bill would also fully authorize a pay increase for service members, increase missile defense, and add additional ships and aircraft. “The bill fully funds the 2.4% pay raise our troops are entitled to under law while blocking the President’s ability to reduce troop pay,” according to the summary.
It authorizes funding for a wide variety of additional military hardware including 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters across the service branches — 20 more than requested by President Donald Trump’s initial budget — and three additional Littoral Combat Ships.
The bill also “adds $4.4 billion above the President’s initial budget request to meet critical missile defense needs” — authorizing up to 28 additional ground-based Interceptors and “requiring the Missile Defense Agency to develop a space-based sensor layer for ballistic missile defense,” according to the summary.
However, the bill would also set defense spending well above the $549 billion cap under the Budget Control Act [sequestration] and Senate Democrats have vowed to block major increases to defense spending without equal increases for domestic programs.
I am not sure what to make of the management changes, though I like the elimination of the Space Corps, which was an absurd waste of money. The proposed budget increases are disturbing, however. I am especially appalled (but not surprised) at the push to eliminate sequestration, which has been the only bill passed by Republicans that has done anything to control the federal governments wasteful spending.