Space Force…Lasers, Satellites, Debt, Oh My!

By Toné Mason, DOD Senior Analyst

The Space Force has finally been established and its focus will be on national security and the preservation of satellites. But what exactly is it and where is it going? Will it include spaceships that shoot out laser beams?

Lots of people are asking lots of questions, but let’s get started with the biggest elephant in the room – armed combat. The Space Force will not include armed combat scenarios and the Air Force has no intentions to make it that way. Now that bubbles have been burst, what is the point of the Space Force if it won’t include armed combat? Why do we need a Space Force if there will be no armed combat?

Long story short, China and Russia in recent years have had major priorities to develop disruptive technologies that could impact satellites for America and our allies. Within the last two decades alone, China’s space program has developed with alarming speed. The protection of our assets is a priority for the U.S. and the establishment of the Space Force shows the gravity of the situation. Even with all this said, there is an increasing concern from all parties about keeping the peace within outer space – which is why armed combat is not on the table in any way, shape or form.

There are also concerns within the U.S. government regarding the costs surrounding the standup of a new military branch, which has not been done since the 1940s. The national debt has increased rapidly within the past two decades and the Space Force is anticipated to add $5.6 billion to the deficit through 2029. There is valid concern that the establishment of the Space Force would be increasing the nation’s deficit unnecessarily.

Congress is well aware of these cost concerns and has prohibited any new billets. The Space Force for now will utilize current personnel in existing space organizations. If you have any key contacts within space organizations in the Department of Defense, they will still be great advantage if you want to work with the Space Force.

Space Force spending is anticipated to be pretty lean in FY20, but we may see increased funding in FY21. At this time, a huge surge of funding is not likely to happen until after FY21.

Spending will not be focused so much on personnel, but more so on research/development and technology needed to ensure the continued protection of our satellites. We anticipate seeing spending around data conversion, technology refreshes, predictive analytics, system consolidations and more. Data, AI, cloud, cybersecurity, and 5G will likely be a huge focus for the Space Force as spending ramps up in future fiscal years.

 

For deeper insight into what’s happening in DOD, check out our Market Intelligence FY20 Budget Briefing video recorded during the recent Government IT Sales Summit.

Subscribe to our Government Sales Insider blog to receive regular updates on government IT trends.

About Toné Mason
Toné Mason is a Senior Analyst on immixGroup's Market Intelligence organization. She has a B.A. in Government and International Politics from George Mason University. Prior to joining, Toné was a Business Development Intelligence Analyst at Chenega Corporation and previously a Research Analyst at Deltek working on their GovWin product.

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