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Rogers calls for separate “Space Corps” within the Air Force

Rep.  Mike Rogers greets Gen. John "Jay" Raymond at Tuesday's government affairs breakfast at the 33rd  Space Symposium. Credit: Tom Kimmell.

COLORADO SPRINGS – Rep. Mike Rogers said the U.S. Air Force needs a separate “Space Corps” to handle military operations in orbit, and said he’ll introduce legislation to begin the process of setting up the organization.

“We have to acknowledge that the national security space structure is broken,” Rogers said in a Tuesday morning speech at the 33rd annual Space Symposium here. “It’s very hard for a government bureaucracy to fix itself, and that’s exactly why congressional oversight exists. It’s the job of the Armed Services Committee to recognize when the bureaucracy is broken and to see that it’s fixed.”

Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said the Space Corps concept would be the first step in spinning off space operations into an independent branch of the military – similar to the way the U.S. Army Air Corps eventually become the Air Force.

“My vision of the future is a separate space force within the Department of Defense,” Rogers  said.

The congressman said that despite the Air Force being a “world-class military service,” space should not be led by people who “get up each morning thinking about fighters and bombers…you cannot organize, train, and equip in space the way you do a fighter squad.”

Rogers praised officers like Gen. Jay Raymond, leader of Air Force Space Command, and Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, head of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, but said the Air Force is not structured to educate and elevate a future generation of space leadership.

Rogers said the Armed Services committee needs to begin debating the issue, but he does not expect radical change immediately.

“The amputation is not going to begin tomorrow,” he said. “That said, I believe reform is needed. We must start now.”

Source: Space News

Rogers calls for separate “Space Corps” within the Air Force

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