The United States Space Force was created in 2019 when the paperwork from a multi-year, multi-administration, bi-partisan reform effort finally wound its way into the Oval Office. It was not Donald Trump’s idea, Indeed, it was not a new idea, and is not a uniquely US idea either, both the Russian Federation and China both also having waffled over the years about the proper place for space defense within their respective armed forces.

A US military space service was first proposed in 1958, and after decades of priority juggling, seriously considered again in 1982. Instead, space defense activities scattered across various branches came under the control of a central cross-service command, Air Force Space Command. But by 2001, a bipartisan space commission argued that increasingly vital space defense matters were being given short shrift and recommended creation of a space corps between 2007 and 2011. Another bipartisan proposal in Congress would have created a U.S. Space Corps in 2017, and finally in December of 2019, the United States Space Force Act reorganized Air Force Space Command and other space defense elements into the United States Space Force, creating the first new independent military service since the Army Air Forces were reorganized as the U.S. Air Force in 1947 as an independent branch under the Department of the Air Force in the same way the Marine Corps is a branch under the Department of the Navy.

The U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge of the DOD in space while adapting to new strategic challenges. 

Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of DOD, NASA and commercial space launches. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects – continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning. 

Ground-based and space-based systems monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. A global network of space surveillance sensors provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect U.S. space assets from hostile attacks.