(National Sentinel)Â The Final Frontier: The head of the U.S. Air Force said that war is coming to space “in a matter of years” as great powers including China, Russia, and the U.S. bolster their space-based military capabilities.
General David L. Goldfein, in an address to active-duty airmen last week atÂ the Air Force Associationâ€™s 34th annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Florida, added thatÂ American forces will find themselves â€œfighting from space” and that the Pentagon has to be prepared for that eventuality.
In order to be prepared, Goldfein said new weapons and technology will need to be developed and money appropriated for that purpose.
â€œ[Itâ€™s] time for us as a service, regardless of specialty badge, to embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply to air superiority today,” he said, touting his service branch as best suited for the job of warring in space.
â€œI believe weâ€™re going to be fighting from space in a matter of years,â€ he said. â€œAnd we are the service that must lead joint warfighting in this new contested domain. This is what the nation demands.â€
While Pentagon officials have been saying that space will become a warfighting domain in the new future for some time, the warning took on added urgency this time around.
Rep. Mike Rogers, the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee chairman, recently proposed the creation of a new â€œSpace Corps,â€ one that would be modeled after the Marines, though his idea has not picked up the support of the Pentagon or the Air Force, which presumed that the first new service branch created in 70 years would no doubt siphon funds away from the other branches.
Ironically, the Air Force was the last service branch created; after World War II the Army Air Corps became the Air Force.
Experts see a need for a space domain warfighting capability.
â€œWhen you think of how dependent the US military is on satellites for everything from its communication and navigation to command and surveillance, we are already fighting in space, even if itâ€™s not like the movies depicted,â€ Peter W. Singer, fellow at New America and author of Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, told Gizmodo.
â€œIf we were ever to fight another great power, like a China or Russia, it is likely the opening round of battle would be completely silent, as in space no one would hear the other side jamming or even destroying each otherâ€™s satellites,” he added.
Both China and Russia have successfully tested kinetic ASAT — anti-satellite — weapons. The U.S. is current dedicating resources to defend its military and intelligence satellites, as well as critical communications infrastructure that is space-based.
Goldfein said the Air Force needs to invest in new technologies and train a new generation of leaders in order to prepare for the eventually that the final frontier will soon become the next battlefield.
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