Air Force Space Doctrine: Is It Ready for Weapons in Space?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The U.S. Air Force sometimes appears to have two identities. Not only is the U.S. Air Force arguably the best air-breathing air force in the world, it is also steward to the predominance of the nations military space power. Because of the increased emphasis and importance of space to the warfighter, the U.S. is poised to put weapons in space to protect its satellite assets. Once space is weaponized, it is not beyond plausibility that the leap from defensive to offensive space-based weapons will occur. Within the U.S. Air Force itself, there are those who feel that the two mediums of air and space do not belong under the umbrella of a single service. Many in the space community feel that current space doctrine is stifled under the air-centric Air Force. Additionally, argument abounds that the Joint Force Air Component Commander JFACC should not have Air Force space assets under his control but that they should be under the control of a more space-minded read additional component commander. This paper addresses the possibility and unique advantages of offensive weapons in space. It further looks at current Air Force space doctrine and its applicability to offensive space-based weapons. Instead of finding a rift between air and space forces and doctrine, this paper finds that U.S. Air Force space doctrine is already well structured to support offensive space weapons and the JFACC who should and will be using them. The Air Force understands the unique characteristics of each medium but more importantly, understands these differences do not matter in the realm of force application.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Space Warfare