The White House and Congress have worked out a deal that will establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Services in exchange for 12 weeks of paid leave for federal employees with newborn babies.
The details of the Space Force taken from a summary of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) are below.
The FY20 NDAA recognizes space as a warfighting domain and establishes the U.S. Space Force in Title 10 as the sixth Armed Service of the United States, under the U.S. Air Force. In doing so, the NDAA provides the Secretary of the Air Force with the authority to transfer Air Force personnel to the newly established Space Force. To minimize cost and bureaucracy, the Space Force will require no additional billets and remains with the President’s budget request.
The conference agreement creates a Chief of Space Operations (CSO) for the U.S. Space Force who will report directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the first year, the CSO may also serve as the Commander of U.S. Space Command. The CSO will provide updates to the committees of jurisdiction every 60 days, with briefings and reports on implementation and establishment status. The conference report also creates:
- A Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, as the senior space architect, who will:
- Provide a renewed focus on the acquisition of space systems as the Chair of the Space Force Acquisition Council, ensuring integration across the national security space enterprise;
- Synchronize with the Air Force Service Acquisition Executive on all space system efforts, and take on Service Acquisition Executive responsibilities for space systems and programs effective on October 1, 2022; and
- Oversee and direct the Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Rapid Capabilities Office, and Space Development Agency.
- An Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy as the senior civilian in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for oversight of space warfighting.