Broadcast 3220 Douglas Loverro

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The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Douglas Loverro; Topics:  The need for a U.S. Space Force and why.

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We welcomed Doug Loverro to the show for this one segment 74 minute discussion about the need for a U.S. space force and why.  I started the discussion with Mr. Loverro by asking him if and then why we might need a space force at this time.  One of the key reasons our guest cited was the need to build the people to lead in space for the benefit of the world, all countries, not just the free world.  Mr. Loverro then cited several online reports which you will find through the links I have posted on the blog per his suggestions.  At the same time, our guest talked about how space was currently associated with the Air Force.  One of the many points he made throughout the show focused on the AF identity with air power, not with space.  Be sure to listen to what our guest said about this as it proved to be a central theme in our discussion and in the thinking of our guest on this subject.

Our guest and listeners discussed what Doug said were cultural emotional questions, culture being tied to the branch of service focusing on space.  All branches do focus on some parts of space and all branches have a very different culture regarding space.  For the AF, he said that there was no space background in the officer ranks and in the pentagon though the AF maybe had 1-2 flag officers serving with space background.  Doug contrasted that with the Navy which has been organized into five groups with all being treated culturally equal.  Make sure you hear all of Doug's comments on this important subject. 

Todd from San Diego sent in a note asking if the US and China were in a space race of sorts.  Doug said such a race already existed and then he went on to say that space had militarized since the 1960's.  He referenced early ASAT tests by the US, China, and the Soviet Union.  One thing he suggested was to negotiate a new treaty regarding creating space debris because to destroy a satellite is to create space debris.  Again, don't miss all of what he said on this subject.  Post your thoughts on this on our blog as we want to know what you think about China, space, and US space leadership.

BJohn sent in a note regarding our not building space professionals like we did at one time plus some other comments.  Cathy sent in a note asking Doug if we were now playing catch-up with China or other nations.  Our guest said we were still in the lead but or lead was slipping.  He also said there had not been a new military space mission since 1984.  Don't miss all of his comments about this and once again, let us know your thoughts about this on the blog.

Listener Bob asked for a list of who supports the space force and who opposes it.  Our guest talked about the congressional armed services committees not really openly supporting it.  Listen to all of what he said about congressional support.  Caller Richard was next up talking about a divided general public on the issues and that parts of military space were not supportive.  I asked if the commercial space industry was supportive.  Our guest said there was no clear demarcation with various groups.  Richard added in two big implications of a space force being the need to protect space assets and then the need to make sure the space force actually protected all the different services.  Our guest said these were key issues in creating a space force and needed to be priorities.  Doug then told us comparisons stories with the creation of the AF from the Army.  He also cited NRO experiences.  GPS was part of this discussion, then I asked Doug if he thought our allies supported our creating a space force.  Doug had much to say regarding our allies on this subject.

Sally sent in a note asking about a timeline for a fully operational uniformed force.  We also talked about how the force would be created. Many thought that people with Space Command in the AF would just move over to the Space Force.  Not so.  Doug said Space Command has about 33,000 people consisting of about 2,000 officers and another 2,000 enlisted men and women.  The rest are in a support mode and not really focused on space over support.  He talked about a voluntary Space Force or the need to just transfer key people.  Another listener then asked if and when the public would actually notice we have a space force.  Doug had much to say about this, especially since activities that take place in space are typically invisible to us here on Earth.  Along the same lines, Phil asked about the rank structure for a space force.  Doug surprised me with lots of detail about rank selection and why this was an important part of a space force.  Be sure to listen to the rank discussion. 

As we were nearing the end of our program, our guest was asked for the odds of our getting a space force.  He said if the Republicans held congress, he thought it would be 50-50.  The odds would drop if the Republicans lost either or both house.  He did note that the proposal to create the space force was bipartisan but it may prove challenging to build on that going forward after the election.  Still, he looked toward a 2020 timeline for operation or at least close to that timeline.

Our guest had much to say in his closing comments so be sure to hear them.  In addition, he once again referenced the Rumsfeld Report re the above URL so do check it out.  Just before the program ended, Zed sent in an 11th hour email suggesting the timing was not right for a space force at this time.  I read the full email on air but Doug said while timing may not be perfect, if we don't start now, we will be trying to catch-up even more later on so best to start at this time and keep evolving the development of the force.  Make sure you listen to all of what Doug said in reply to Zed.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Mr. Loverro through me.




Do we need a U.S. Space Force? Yes or No?

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05 Nov 2018 Douglas Loverro
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