As you may already know, there are currently five branches of the Unites States armed forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. While it may seem far-fetched, though, there’s a strong push for the creation of a sixth branch: the Space Corps.
The 2018 Defense authorization bill included the “Space Corp” for the purpose of taking over the Air Force’s current role in space missions. Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee voted in favor of creating the Space Corp. So, while some people may disregard this as nothing more than a proposal, steps are already underway to make it happen.
Of course, several lawmakers have said they were unaware of the bill. Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), for instance, said he only recently learned about the bill when it was presented to the subcommittee.
“I chastised my staff and said, ‘How could I not know that this was happening?’ They said, ‘Well, they had a meeting about it and you missed it,’” Turner said. “A meeting is certainly not enough. Maybe we do need a space corps, but I think this bears more than just discussions in a subcommittee. We have not had Secretary Mattis come before us and tell us what this means. We have not heard from the secretary of the Air Force. There’s a whole lot of work we need to do before we go as far as creating a new service branch.”
So, what is the Space Corp exactly? The new bill seeks to create a Space Command for the United States under the new chief of the Space Corps and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Basically, the newly created Space Corps would have its own independent chief of staff and would operate in a similar manner as the Navy or Air Force.
Many military experts regard space as being the new frontier on which future wars will be fought. However, it’s also a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure. While Russia has the most satellites of any country orbiting Earth (around 1,324), the United States has the second most satellites (around 658). If these satellites are disabled or otherwise compromised, it could land a damaging blow to our country’s infrastructure. While we don’t know what types of operations the Space Corps will perform exactly, it’s safe to assume they will protect the satellites of the United States and its allies.