The Pentagon is in the final stages of preparing a report to lawmakers laying out the groundwork for the change, including initial steps they can make without Congress. But the final step--officially creating a new service branch—will require legislative authorization. And it is Senate Republicans who could stand in the way of Trump’s so-called Space Force; the House has already signaled its support for the move.
Space Force is getting closer to reality. As early as this week, the Pentagon is expected to announce various steps to reorganize the military’s space-related procurement and operations, culminating in a planned request for congressional action to authorize the creation of a separate service branch for space.
In coming months, Defense Department leaders plan to stand up three of the four components of the new Space Force: a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy satellites for the military, and a new warfighting community that draws space operators from all service branches.
Within a decade, U.S. troops may get some supplies from prepositioned stocks in space -- if the Air Force’s mobility commander can make his vision come true. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II is already talking with SpaceX and other space-services companies about that and other space-related initiatives, the leader of Air Force Mobility Command told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast Thursday.
The Senate approved the compromise fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a 87-10 vote, sending it to Trump’s desk for his expected signature and keeping it on track to become law before the start of the fiscal year for the first time since the fiscal 1997 bill.
"Speed is of the essence in the digital age," said Lt. Gen. VeraLinn "Dash" Jamieson, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on the Air Staff at the Pentagon. She painted a grim picture: While "great instigator" Russia has the desire to do ambitious experiments with A.I., China already has the means.
Like the air-to-air F-15C, and unlike the Strike Eagles, the new F-15X would have just one seat. Large digital display screens would replace the analog dials inside older F-15s. The planes could carry all of the existing equipment, like targeting pods, used across the existing Eagle fleet. The F-15X will also be able to carry anti-ship weapons that allies have paid to test and install. In all, the plane could carry 29,000 pounds of weapons.
Congress used its annual defense policy bill to require leadership at the Department of Defense to double down on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Pentagon officials have repeatedly said artificial intelligence is a critical technology to staying ahead of potential adversaries. Earlier this month, the Defense Department reorganized its leadership structure to put a greater emphasis on emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
U.S. Senate and House negotiators reached agreement on Monday on a $716 billion defense policy bill, which includes provisions on tightening foreign investment scrutiny and telecommunications security in addition to authorizing military funding.
The U.S. Air Force wants more companies to work on its artificial intelligence and software projects. “I don’t think we’re attracting enough people,” WIll Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, said Tuesday at the Farnborough Air Show. “Whether they’re the right people or not, I think that’s a separate question.