The brand-new U.S. military branch, Space Force, recently established a unit dedicated to “orbital warfare.”
It’s not specifically a TIE fighter or X-Wing from the “Star Wars” series, but The Drive reported last week that Trump’s recently created Space Force is now in charge of the experimental X-37B spacecraft. A craft that was prior in the ownership of the Air Force, which should turn many heads.
The unit is also precariously known as Delta 9, according to the service. Military.com reports:
“Space Operations Command was activated last month during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Under the field commands are deltas and squadrons, according to the Space Force’s command hierarchy.”
Delta 9’s Detachment 1 “oversees operations of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, an experimental program designed to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Space Force,” according to the unit’s fact sheet.
Delta 9 consists of three active-duty squadrons headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado: 1st Space Operations Squadron, 3rd Space Operations Squadron and 750th Operations Support Squadron, along with Detachment 1. The three squadrons conduct “protect-and-defend operations from space and provide response options to deter and defeat adversary threats in space,” according to the chart.
It’s in this Delta group that the X-37B will be used, for what purpose exactly is unknown. But according to the document, it states that Delta 9 will be responsible for “Orbital Warfare.” TMU previously reported that Johns Hopkins University, political scientist Daniel Deudney, warned that “space could end up controlled by a totalitarian empire.”
Nations including China and Russia are already beginning to weaponize space with energy weapons and anti-satellite missiles. That’s according to the Pentagon last year in a report in CNBC.
The U.S. is also involved in the weaponization of space and a U.S. Air Force commander has even previously proclaimed that space weapons should be used against ISIS without expanding on how.
“If we want to be more agile then the reality is we are going to have to push decision authority down to some lower levels in certain areas the big question that we’ve got to wrestle with … is the authorities to operate in cyber and space,” General David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, told USA TODAY.
This is despite such actions being forbidden under the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty established in 1967, for any nation to weaponize space. Additionally, the “Space Preservation Treaty” in 2005, states that countries won’t seek to weaponize space.
Deudney’s book lays out six threats to humanity, with the most important being the military use of equipment needed to terraform other worlds. Deudney concludes, according to The Space Review‘s analysis of his book, that we should abandon any hope of settling space until peace on Earth is achieved and we can explore responsibly.
It’s worth noting that former President George Bush Jr’s forgotten speech in 2001 mentions forming a Space Force, and creating a new spacecraft and “space bomber.” So these plans for militarizing space have long been schemed behind closed doors by the military-industrial complex.
In fact, going all the way back to 1989, the New York Times reported the Air Force had shut down another military space program, with a shuttle that could seat a total of 32 astronauts and a space shuttle launching facility in Colorado. It’s important to note that modern space shuttles only carry 8 passengers maximum so 32 would be an accomplishment Indeed.
What the military misses however, is as Seattle-pi wrote in a 2015 article, “Weapons in space put the world at risk.”
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]