U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein / Getty Images

 

China’s “rapid growth” in military capabilities and space innovation considered a top concern

The United States Air Force is accelerating investment in space as Chinese advancements threaten to penetrate American systems in the previously uncontested domain, top service officials said during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years.

“Some of the work they’re doing in space, it’s very aggressive,” Goldfein said. “We built our space architecture in an era when space was a rather benign domain, so … we’re very focused on taking some bold moves in this budget to increase our ability to defend what we have in space.”

Though Goldfein nodded to Russian gains in space capabilities, he noted Moscow doesn’t have the same “economic base” as Beijing that has allowed for such rapid advancements.

The remarks come amid an ongoing debate among lawmakers and Trump administration officials over the creation of a space command as a separate military branch housed within the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps is structured under the Navy. The House scrapped a Space Corps proposal last year after pushback from the Pentagon and Senate members, but the issue has received renewed attention since President Donald Trump raised the idea last month.

Wilson said while the service is “open to discussing ideas that people have in this realm … the most important thing is not the organization, but what we actually do” to defend the United States and to “make clear to any adversary that if they take us on in space, we will prevail.”

Full article: U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat (Washington Free Beacon)

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