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21 February 2020

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The Twisted Genius

I'm sure Vandenburg AFB will be a USSF base as will Patrick AFB on Florida's space coast. Even though Florida is already home to a slew of DoD commands, I'm partial to Patrick as the headquarters base. It shouldn't be in Colorado or it will just appear to be an enhanced NORAD. As it stands, a lot of units transferring into USSF will be space warning and space control squadrons.

I wonder if the two space launch squadrons will become the face of USSF like pilots are the face of the AF and combat arms are the face of the Army? Come to think of it, will the USSF culture evolve from these existing units or will it be something created and imposed from the top down?

I think ROTC and OCS are already planned as officer acquisition sources in addition to the AF Academy.

I still think pocket protectors ought to part of the uniform. As a nod to tradition, maybe officers should carry slide rules (yes, the old slip stick) when on parade.

The Twisted Genius

There will also be a National Guard component of the USSF. The Hawaiian Air National Guard will have one of four offensive space control squadrons with 88 members based at the Pacific Missile Range on Kauai. That'll be a sweet deal. Looks like this will be a counter satellite communications unit.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/01/12/space-force-unit-coming-hawaii-air-national-guard.html

https://spacenews.com/u-s-space-force-gets-upgraded-satellite-communications-jammers-for-offensive-operations/

turcopolier

TTG

Slide rule? Ah, yes I remember my STEM major roommates with these things at VMI One was a math major and the other was in chemistry.
the math guy later got an MA in applied math from Georgia Tech. The chemistry guy never did anything chemical. I remember that he took organic chemistry and that the esters in the air in the lab ate great holes in his clothes.

Leith

A new USSF slide rule? I'm too old and too slow to sign up, but my preference would be a good engineering calculator with reverse polish notation.

But they could perhaps use an updated version of the old V2 Rocket ballistiche belastung slide rule used at Peenemunde. Or a space force adaptation of the 1943 Graphical Firing Table slide rule used by redlegs in arty battery FDCs.

John Minnerath

Slide rules ? You guys. I still have 4 of them put away, although I will admit I can no longer use all the functions and have a TI scientific calculator I use when needed.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I used a slide rule regularly during my first two years at RPI. Even though I was an anthropology major, I had to take a lot of math and science courses as core requirements. I thought calculus was a cruel joke and a hoax foisted on us non-engineers. Physics, OTOH, I loved. I even took an extra semester in that that. Using a slide rule was as natural as reading. Some of the real nerds would wear the slide rules on their belts. I never did that. I still have two of them in the closet as collector items.

Leith

What will happen to the Army Space Battalions at Fort Carson? And Navy Space related units? I think Congress blocked their transfer to the USSF. But will those services allow individuals to transfer and wear the black?

Leith

There are precedents: such as the various IST (Interservice Transfer) programs.

The Twisted Genius

Leith,

Those Army and Navy space units will be addressed eventually. It's not cut and dried. I'm sure there are Army Signal Corps SATCOM units. The Navy has ASAT missile capabilities. Should these functions automatically transfer to USSF? The Army retains aircraft and boats. I don't see why some SATCOM capability also remains in the Army. Land, air and sea based ASAT capabilities will be a tougher question.

turcopolier

All

I looked today at the chain of wikis that deal with USSF. There are already a lot of units and people to transfer to the new service. And then there is the question of what the X-37 and analogous kit really do.

The Twisted Genius

pl and all,

I think the entire AF Space Command and all subordinate units are forming the core of USSF. That still gives USSF an orbital satellite focus for now. Even the X-37 is orbital and robotic even if some of the classified experimental projects are literally out of this world.

I think USSF operations beyond Earth orbit will be preceded by something akin to the Hudson Bay Company or the East India Company. Manned and robotic spacecraft will be equipped with defensive systems as required or presumed to be required by SpaceX or other peer space enterprises. I can see these enterprises eventually hiring USSF veterans to run those defensive systems. One of those early spacecrafts should be named the Nonsuch in honor of HBC's first armed trading ketch.

turcopolier

TTG

IMO there is a lot of information and equipment not showing at present.

turcopolier

TTG

IMO you have a very narrow view of USSF.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I don't see USSF going beyond an orbital focus for the next few decades. That doesn't mean they don't desire something deep space far into the future. I would suspect that the Combined Space Operations Division of SPACECOM is also thinking about that. That is where anything beyond orbital operations will develop. For the foreseeable future, SPACECOM and USSF will have their hands full trying to get a firm grasp on how to conduct a full scale orbital war.

I do think SPACECOM and USSF will eventually be handed the defense against killer asteroids and the UFO missions. But even those mission areas will be robotics based. The dreams of Starship Troopers or even a United Federation of Planets Starfleet will remain dreams far into the future.

turcopolier

TTG

I don't like being mocked. You may think that the creation of USSF is merely an evidence of Trump's empty headed vanity but I do not.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I am not mocking your enthusiasm for USSF or the USSF itself. I also think it's a good idea. There is more than enough mission for them. I'm just not at all clear about what your vision for USSF entails. I think USSF personnel will be almost exclusively based in space control centers, launch, radar and ASAT sites all here on Earth. NASA's current planetary defense mission tracking asteroids and comets posing a potential threat to Earth and, more importantly, devising ways to defend against those threats is a natural mission for the men and women of USSF.

I watched the evolution of CYBERCOM. I don't think it has come near to reaching it's potential mainly because of the limits of the conventional leaders in charge. There were several proposals for a separate US Cyber Force to man that Command. I thought that was a good idea since fighting in cyberspace is something alien to the Army, Navy and Air Force just as fighting in space is alien to those existing services.

turcopolier

TTG

My intuition about the reasons for the establishment of the USSF at this time is based on the way I have always analyzed things. My methods always centered around Occam's Razor. What is the simplest answer for a complex set of questions implied by evidence. It is not in Trump's nature to spend money on speculations in the popular press or media. He doesn't give a damn if the TeeVee program "Project Blue Book" is a success or not. He had to ask Congress for 10 billion to stand the new service up. He would not have wanted to spend the money on something that could be ignored. There are no votes for his re-election in creating the USSF. The visible actions involved in creating USSF are an administrative re-grouping of existing assets. How does it profit Trump to do that now? At this time? If it is so urgent to do it NOW, why is it urgent? IMO Trump was briefed into this urgent decision, based on evidence that has been carefully concealed from the public. It is probably in a SAP or numerous SCI compartments. Now, you and I know how well and successfully the US government conceals material protected that way. The public thinks the government leaks. What a joke! The things that matter do not leak. In any event, the Democrats in the Congressional leadership easily accepted the decision to create USSF NOW. Why? They don't want to give Trump anything, but they gave his this this without a whimper. My conclusion is that there is a lot of evidence not showing as yet.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I see the establishment of USSF as an evolutionary process rather than anything done out of a sense of recent urgency. Proposals for a separate space force along with a powerful DoD space constituency have been around at least as long as proposals for a separate special operations force and certainly longer than proposals for a separate cyber force. A separate Space Force within the Air Force was first proposed by Rumsfeld in early 2001. That proposal was eclipsed by 9/11. SPACECOM was a unified combatant command in 1985. It was stood down in 2002 only because of an artificial desire to limit the number of unified commands at the time. SPACECOM's reestablishment last year was long overdue IMO given the ever increasing importance of space assets to DoD and US security. This growing importance is well known. It does not take some special SAP information to justify a SPACECOM and USSF especially with a powerful constituency behind the idea. What does Trump get out of this? He can rightfully claim to be the founder of the USSF. That would appeal to his ego, just as returning to the Moon during his presidency is important to him.

turcopolier

TTG
We should continue to explore our differences over this. USSF is not within USAF.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I agree. This is a fascinating subject. I thought the USSF will be within the Department of the Air Force just like the USMC is within the Department of the Navy. I know that wasn't Trump's original desire. He wanted a totally separate USSF.

turcopolier

TTG
USSF IS within DOAF.

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