Lam­born seeks mil­i­tary branch for satel­lites

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Tom Roder

COLORADO SPRINGS» Pulling the nation’s mil­i­tary satel­lites into a sep­a­rate space ser­vice could shred Pen­tagon red tape and bring an­other fourstarred mil­i­tary head­quar­ters to Colorado Springs, Repub­li­can U.S. Rep. Doug Lam­born told The Gazette.

The space corps plan was a late-night ad­di­tion to the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee’s 2018 spend­ing plan and goes against the wishes of Pen­tagon brass who want to keep space mis­sions un­der the Air Force um­brella. Lam­born con­tends that the Air Force and the Pen­tagon are pay­ing too lit­tle at­ten­tion to ris­ing dan­gers in or­bit.

“We need to or­ga­nize space in such a way that it has more promi­nence,” Lam­born said Fri­day in a phone in­ter­view from Wash­ing­ton.

Lam­born ad­mits he’s sel­dom op­posed Air Force lead­ers who have crit­i­cized the space force plan. But he said grow­ing Amer­i­can de­pen­dence on mil­i­tary satel­lites com­bined with grow­ing en­emy ca­pa­bil­ity to shoot those satel­lites out of or­bit jus­tify his de­ci­sion.

Be­fore the Pen­tagon starts chang­ing its sta­tionery, the space corps idea must face a full House vote and con­sid­er­a­tion in the Se­nate, where sev­eral law­mak­ers al­ready have ex­pressed skep­ti­cism.

The idea for a stand­alone space branch of the mil­i­tary has been gain­ing steam since April, when Alabama U.S. Rep. Mike Rodgers pushed the idea at the Space Sym­po­sium in Colorado Springs.

In com­mit­tee hear­ings on the 2018 de­fense bud­get, Rogers swayed col­leagues.

“The in­tent is to en­sure a se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cial can fo­cus on and is re­spon­si­ble for train­ing and equip­ping for op­er­a­tions in space and, like­wise, for any fu­ture war fight­ing in this crit­i­cal do­main,” the com­mit­tee said in a news re­lease.

The mil­i­tary’s ef­forts in space now mainly fall un­der Air Force Space Com­mand in Colorado Springs.

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