There hasn’t been a new branch of the U.S. Military since the Air Force was officially established in 1947, but now, lawmakers are proposing creating a new military service — the “Space Corps.”
The Strategic Forces Subcommittee, a part of the House Committee on Armed Services, announced in June that it will include a proposal for the new military service in this year’s new defense budget, CBS News reported on Monday.
The Space Corps would be responsible for national security space programs that currently fall to the Air Force, according to the proposal, and would help to oversee national nuclear security and missile defense.
“There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Ranking Member Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), said in their announcement. “We must act now to fix national security space and put in place a foundation for defending space as a critical element of national security.”
The proposed Space Corps would report to the Air Force, CBS News reported, the same way the Marines do to the Navy.
The bill passed the House Armed Services Committee by a 60 to 1 vote, and it now heads to the House. There’s just one small hiccup — Air Force leadership isn’t thrilled with the proposal, as CNN reported on Saturday.
According to CNN, Air Force leadership sees the Space Corps as an unnecessary and expensive change, especially considering there’s already an Air Force Space Command that’s existed since 1982.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters in June that the proposal “will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organizational chart, and cost more money,” CNN reported.