Wilson: $13 billion Space Force cost estimate is 'conservative'

Space: The Final Frontier for War?

That competition is set to grow if President Donald Trump succeeds in creating a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military, something he hopes to do by 2020.

"As we move forward, we will build upon incredible ingenuity and a good amount of the blood, sweat, and tears of a generation of airmen", Shanahan said.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the preliminary analysis drew partly from classified intelligence about possible threats in the 2025 to 2030 time frame, showing that the service, at its current size, would be unable to preserve America's edge.

Wilson, who admitted the U.S.is trying to prevent other nations from stopping America's use of the front, called the Space Force "a bold idea to dominate in space", and said "the Air Force has a lot of authorities now to continue to accelerate defendable space so that we dominate and win".

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson spoke about the future growth of the service. They say the force is needed because Russia, China and other US adversaries are building anti-satellite and other weapons that could threaten the USA military's dominance in space. They also question why Wilson is asking for 13,000 new people to form the Space Force, instead of moving more existing personnel into the new service.

This is the first publicly available cost estimate.

President Trump began talking about creating a Space Force as a sixth military department in March.

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There isn't a "playbook" to follow on how to create a new service, since the last time it occurred was with the creation of the Air Force in 1947.

"It's reasonable that the Air Force is doing studies about its future", he said, as reported by Flightglobal.

But opponents will probably seize on the Air Force estimate that building the space force will cost $3.3 billion in the first year and $12.9 billion over five years as evidence that it would be too costly for a defense budget likely to be severely stretched in coming years. The proposal represents the Air Force's point of view, not necessarily that of the Pentagon as a whole.

Usually commanded by a lieutenant colonel, squadrons are the core fighting units of the Air Force and are often composed of about 18 to 24 aircraft. The NRO is believed to have the largest budget of the 17 US intelligence agencies. Gen. Billy Mitchell (widely regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force) in 1925 after he vehemently accused the Army and Navy leadership of failing to prioritize air power.

Wilson's proposal takes issue with some of the directives in Shanahan's memo, such as the appointment of an assistant secretary of defense for space.

The Air Force's pathfinder software lab, Kessel Run for the Combined Air Operations Center during military events, has proved the Defense Department can do continuous software updates, such as extreme programming and test-driven development, providing a template for other programs.

"Our proposal avoids detours that do not support the president's policy position", Wilson wrote in the memo.

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