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Organizational Options for the Future Aerospace Force

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Journal article

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Addressing the future of aerospace power in the 21st century, F. Whitten Peters, secretary of the Air Force, states that the Air Force views the flight domains of air and space as a seamless operational medium. The environmental differences between air and space do not separate the employment of aerospace power within them. Critics, however, disagree and have called for a reorganization of the military services through the creation of a separate Space Force. Some members of Congress seek to create a single voice for space, consolidating all Department of Defense DoD space activities. Furthermore, these critics say that a consolidated Space Force will improve the visibility of space programs, increase the space budget, eliminate redundancy, and promote the development of space professionals. They also suggest that a new organization will advance space warfighting capabilities and enhance space support to the war fighter. Although well conceived, the pursuit of a new organization dedicated to space is premature. Based on historical precedent of past DoD organizations, space does not meet the test for independence. Reorganization does not address all of the critics concerns, and in some cases may have the opposite effect. Reorganization will incur significant over expenditures, further stressing limited DoD resources. This article argues a point that may have serious ramifications for DoDs structure the U.S. military mission in space has not sufficiently evolved to warrant the establishment of a separate military service for space operations. Aerospace integration is the most appropriate model for managing space today. This model allows for the development of space capabilities within an established organization, the Air Force. It also concentrates space spending on people and systems rather than on overhead.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Astronautics
  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Manned Spacecraft

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