On a 377 to 48 vote, members of the House of Representatives have approved a massive $738 billion military bill that will allow for the creation of a Space Force earlier proposed by President Trump.
The Space Force provision was seen by some observers as a trade-off for another provision of the bill calling for paid parental leave for more than two million federal workers.
The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the Department of the Air Force to establish a separate arm of its operations devoted entirely to protecting U.S. space assets from threats from China and Russia.
As proposed, the Space Force will consolidate the current but separate space services of the country’s existing military branches.
Notes the publication Popular Mechanics: “The United States Space Force will be the first new service branch in more than 60 years, tasked to ensure America’s freedom to operate in outer space—or take space away from someone else.”
Where exactly the Space Force will be headquartered and whether or not it will have its own academy are details of the legislation that have not yet been resolved.
Sources have suggested that wherever the Space Force headquarters is ultimately located, office operations are expected to begin by the early spring of next year.
But because the bill also earmarks some $322 million for general construction at military bases in Colorado Springs, it is thought that at least some of the new Space Force facility construction will also be in the Centennial State.
More specifically, the legislation provides $148 million to begin construction of the Combined Space Operations Facility at the Schriever Air Force Base, which, according to Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn, “will serve as the beating heart of our nation’s space warfighting enterprise.”
By Garry Boulard
Get stories like these right to your inbox.