Speaking to an audience of active-duty airmen, US Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein predicted it’ll only be a “matter of years” before American forces find themselves “fighting from space.” To prepare for this grim possibility, he said the Air Force needs new tools and a new approach to training leaders. Oh, and lots of money.
As reported by Breaking Defense, Goldfein made the comments this past Friday February 23 while delivering a speech at the Air Force Association’s 34th annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Florida.
“[It’s] time for us as a service, regardless of specialty badge, to embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply to air superiority today,” he said.
These are some of the strongest words yet from the Air Force chief of staff to get the Pentagon thinking about space—and to recognize the U.S. Air Force as the service branch best suited for the job. “I believe we’re going to be fighting from space in a matter of years,” he said. “And we are the service that must lead joint war fighting in this new contested domain. This is what the nation demands.”
The USAF and other military officials have been saying this for years, but Goldfein’s comments had an added sense of urgency this time around. Rep. Mike Rogers, the Strategic Forces Subcommittee chairman, recently proposed the creation of a new “Space Corps,” one that would be modeled after the Marines. The proposed service branch, it was argued, would keep the United States ahead of rival nations like Russia and China. The idea was scrapped this past December—at least for now. Needless to say, Rogers’ proposal did not go over well with the USAF; the creation of the first new uniformed service branch in 70 years would see Pentagon funds siphoned away from the Air Force. Hence Goldfein’s speech on Friday, in which he argued that the USAF is the service branch best positioned to protect American interests in space. (Read more from “U.S. Air Force Chief Warns of Space War ‘in a Matter of Years'” HERE)