A new defense policy bill Congress released this week gives the green light to establishing a new Space Force as the sixth Armed Service of the U.S. The new service will fall under the Air Force, similar to the relationship between the Navy and Marine Corps.
The defense authorization bill creates a Chief of Space Operations (CSO), who will report to the Secretary of the Air Force and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CSO will also be allowed to serve as the Commander of U.S. Space Command during the service’s first year. The Joint Chiefs of Staff currently comprises the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The bill also creates an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, a post the Senate must confirm. This person will serve the chair of a new Space Force Acquisition Council and will oversee and direct the Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Rapid Capabilities Office, and Space Development Agency.
Another new post created by the bill is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, who will be the senior civilian in the Office of the Secretary of Defense overseeing space warfighting.