Some lawmakers are urging the Air Force to stand up a separate Space Corps that can help the military better answer threats in space, but the Air Force says that isn't the right move.
The House Armed Services Committee's strategic forces subcommittee included the idea in its section of the annual defense policy bill.
"There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding," the subpanel's chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and ranking member Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said in a joint statement, as reported by Air Force Times' sister publication Defense News. "We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems. Thus, Congress has to step in."
On Thursday, an Air Force spokesman told reporters at the Pentagon that the service is working with what they have.
"From the Air Force's perspective, we think right now it's important to take the capabilities and resources that we have and focus on implementation and integration with the broader force, versus creating a separate service," Col. Patrick Ryder said.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told lawmakers in May that the service's focus should be on ensuring it can blend space operations with the rest of the war-fighting domains.
"Anything that separates space and makes it unique and different, relative to all of the war-fighting missions that we perform that are reliant on space, I don't think believe that will move us in the right direction at this time," he said in a Senate Armed Services Committee strategic forces subcommittee hearing.
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Defense News reporters Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna contributed to this report.
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