The U.S. Space Force will include uniformed service members drawn from the Air Force, Navy and Army — but it is not expected to include the National Reconnaissance Office mission, according an internal draft of the Pentagon’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military.
Defense One reviewed a copy of the 13-page document, which will be further developed in coming months before the Pentagon sends it to Congress in February along with its 2020 budget request. This early draft provides a glimpse into a 21st-century approach to creating a new service branch, an endeavor not undertaken since 1947. Among other things, it reveals divergent views among senior Pentagon officials about how to structure it.
For example, the document says the Space Force will not “include the transfer of [the] strategic intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance mission of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). But the Space Force and the National Reconnaissance Office will be integrated through …NOTE FURTHER INPUTHERE LATER REGARDING DOD/IC integration.” Note that in a Sept. 14 memo to Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson Deputy Defense recommended including NRO in the Space Force.
The draft document calls for Space Force to absorb parts of Air Force Space Command, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Naval Satellite Operations Center, and the Army’s 1st Space Brigade.