Trump administration reorganizes military space into single command


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The Trump administration yesterday announced that it is doing what many in the military space sector have been proposing for several years. reorganizing all military space departments into a single command.

This is not a space force, but a realignment of the military bureaucracy in an effort to make space operations more focused and efficient. Whether it will actually do that I have my doubts. My impression from the news reports is that the military is using this as an opportunity to create a new upper management layer, thus increasing the size of bureaucracy.

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10 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    This can work. Successful examples of such “functional commands” include Transportation, Special Operations, Cyber & Strategic Commands. For example, Strategic Command is the merger of the USAF’s Strategic Air Command and the Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Submarine force to bring all strategic weapons under one chain of command.

  • mike shupp

    There actually was a Space Command, once upon a time, doing this kind of thing, back until 9/11 caused a reshuffling of the military command structure to focus on terrorism and immediately Down To Earth threats. So we’ve got an idea of what such an organization might dio or might not do, and how it might reasonably organized, etc. We can compare what’s being built with what existed before and decide very quickly if changes make sense.

    I’m not very eager to praise the Trump administration, but so far this looks prudent and sensible. Who knows? It’s even conceivable that I will like the full blown US Space Force concept when it’s formally developed!

  • Chris

    Is it me or just how Trump does things,but there is real urgency here.
    Do they know something we do not?

  • wayne

    “We’ve gotta protect our phony baloney jobs!”
    Blazing Saddles
    https://youtu.be/uTmfwklFM-M
    (0:20)

  • commodude

    It all depends on how they set up the TDA. Structured like JSOSOC, it could be highly beneficial.

    This is, however, Washington at work. JSOSOC comes under the heading of a blind, drunk lame squirrel finding a nut.

  • Tom Billings

    “My impression from the news reports is that the military is using this as an opportunity to create a new upper management layer, thus increasing the size of bureaucracy.”

    And those news “reports” are pushed by those whose majority of revenues depend, and will depend, on the Air Force Air Staff thinking they are loyal friends.

  • Col Beausabre

    Translations

    TDA – Table of Distribution & Allowances – The personnel (by grade and specialty) and equipment (by type and model) authorized a unique unit (versus Table of Organization & Equipment of a standardized unit)

    JSOSOC – Joint Special Operation Staff Officer Course – “Joint” indicates two or more military branches/civilian agencies are involved (“Combined” indicates two or more nations and yes, a combined operation can also be a joint operation, example US Army Special Forces being inserted in op area by British Royal Air Force)

    “PURPOSE AND SCOPE: Conducted by USAFSOS/EDOS; provides selected U.S. officers an introduction to joint staff activities with special emphasis on unique functions and interrelationships peculiar to a special operations staff. It provides an in depth explanation of USSOCOM mission activities which include unconventional warfare, direct action, foreign internal defense, search and rescue, special reconnaissance, security assistance, humanitarian assistance, psychological operations, and civil affairs. Detailed study is made of the role of USSOCOM and its working relationship with the services, service components of USSOCOM, sub-unified special operations commands (SOC), and U.S. government agencies.

    PREREQUISITES: Military officers or civilian equivalents in the grades of captain through lt. colonel who are currently assigned or en route to a staff officer position within USSOCOM or another special operations unit. ”

    I think the poster is actually thinking of JSOC itself

  • Commodude

    Correct, meant JSOC, fat fingered the acronym happens, even to us staff pukes

  • mike shupp

    Chris —

    My take on this. The USA has gotten used, the last few decades, to satellite observation of terrain and ground forces, to sending commands to forces in battle and logistics reports and trooper-to-family messages and so on. Just about ditto for everyone else in a recognizable modern nation — British troops, Brazilians, Russians, Chinese, and so on. The exceptions? ISIS, guerilla outfits in Africa, narcotics traffickers in Latin America, that kind of thing which isn’t much of a real threat to national security.

    So that’s the current state of things. But it evolved over time. So there’s a mix of purely military satellites out in space and military traffic that uses commercial communication satellites and so on. And nobody’s really sure what would happen if a major conflict got going between major powers. If the US and the People’s Liberation navies start slugging it out some day when the mainland Chinese government decides it’s time to take over Taiwan, will the messages between the Pentagon and local commanders continue as before, or will the Chinese knock down some satellites? What will we do to their communications?

    Bear in mind that just about all we know of military theory and practice says both sides ought to be doing their durn’dest to disrupt each others communications. So there aren’t any real iron-clad treaties dealing with what countries will do in war time, just some plain vanilla agreements about not keeping satellites which can kill other satellites in orbit for long periods and the like. And now and then, one nation or another will shoot down an obsolete satellite just to demonstrate to other countries that it has such a capability.

    So this wasn’t much of an issue when al Quida and ISIS were the most serious issues the US military concerned itself with. Back in the Bush and Obama years, in other words. But times moves on and international relations evolve and what technology makes possible changes, and so on.

    So the off hand comments that lieutenants threw into their conversation twenty years ago became topic subjects for class papers at the Army War College when those guys were majors ten years ago and Presidential briefing matter a year or so back when those guys reached general level and had to brief a new set of civilian overseers.

    It’s a real thing, in other words. It is urgent. But I don’t think anyone KNOWS something special that we don’t.

  • wayne

    “On November 24, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy conducted the first known flight-test of the JL-3 solid-fuel, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), capable of striking the heartland of America.”

    https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/china-conducts-first-test-of-new-jl-3-submarine-launched-ballistic-missile/

    There’s roughly 85 million loyal, hard-core, totalitarian, Chi-com Party members running the gulag known as China.
    All of whom represent an existential threat to the USA, and all of whom will eventually have to be confronted, with extreme prejudice and absolute malice aforethought.

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