not necessary, perhaps, but inevitable


The lamest thing you’ll see all day
Oh, wait… I spoke too soon.
(What? Yeah, wayyy lamer than the logo I designed for a small office I used to run on the Air Staff/Operations in the basement of the Pentagon thirty ago.)


  1. mech
    Posted August 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm |

    Gonna be interesting. Hope for more good than not.

    It would be great to have a high speed, low drag organization that is allowed to take some risks.

  2. jlw
    Posted August 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm |

    i hope that it is mostly R.A. Heinlein, with a bit of Mad Dog Mattis, and NOT obama, NASA and muslim outreach.

  3. bogsidebunny
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 7:53 am |

    Captain Video, you’re being called back to active duty by the C-in-C President Trump.

    Prepare to assume command of your space rangers. Captain Norton will assist:

  4. jlw
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm |

    a few ideas:

  5. Fat Baxter
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 7:29 pm |

    I dunno. I haven’t seen a new view of space power that articulates new things outside the Air Force’s current doctrinal expression of airpower. At a briefing some years back, a senior Air Force leader dryly noted that “all the space guys do is move information around and take pictures.” Kinda blunt, but spot on. Yes, space is complicated and expensive. But I haven’t seen anyone delineate the warfighting value-added of a new space Service. What are the new/different warfighting activities that a new Service would champion, that aren’t being performed now, or couldn’t with some adjustment to existing doctrine or policy?

    IMO, this isn’t trivial. The airpower advocates pointed to new things they could do, which coalesced into new missions, for which they could design systems and develop tactics. This is Management 101 — define your product, then identify your key processes to deliver that product, then organize around those processes. What entirely new missions have the space community posited, against which they would develop forces and capabilities? I haven’t seen any.

    Without a theory of space power as a touchstone for justifying what they would do, I only see a bunch of Congresscritters throwing money at space-related projects in their districts.

  6. DougM (μολὼν λαβέ)
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm |

    ^ Yep
    Without getting into an Air War College treatise on the subject, current integrated, multi-service space management involves supporting the warfighters (intel, C3, nav/targeting, SAR, SF movement, met, etc.). There are other unique mission areas (prob’ly still classified) which must have advanced since I retired in ’92, but I don’t see those as unique-doctrine-driven, certainly nothing that requires a separate service.

    What I suspect is that a serious prospect of actual in-space combat is the threat that’s driving this, perhaps driven by Russian and Chinese threats. Dunno. It’s been treated as a back-burner issue for decades.

    That plus, as you say, politics.

    Color me unconvinced.

  7. Fat Baxter
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 6:03 am |

    You retired in ’92? I left 2 years ago after 42 total years. You haven’t seen how deeply cultural Marxism has infested the Air Force since then. While we used to joke about the fighter mafia, the missile weenies, the airlift mafia, etc., the tribal mentality has really, really hardened in the last few decades. Everybody wants to see their career field on the Air Force marquee in bright lights.

    In the late ’90s, I would’ve sworn that the strategic airlift community was trying to separate themselves from everybody else. They were going on and on about how they were a “national treasure.” More recently, the space community has been noticeably whiny. In their case, a lot of the cultural stovepiping is something they brought on themselves.

    While a certain amount of tribalism is inevitable in any large organization, it’s been exacerbated recently by the incoming cohorts from society. Kids nowadays have been brought up with the view that tribalism — what I call the hyphenated American — is completely normal. So they enter the Air Force and they think that career field tribalism — the hyphenated Airman — is not only normal, but completely desirable. This has made it very hard, if not impossible, for the Air Force to foster some kind of unifying identity. I know from bitter experience, as it was my day job. It didn’t help that senior Air Force leadership didn’t seem concerned — the f*cking flying community isn’t known for deep thinking (“just give me the bold prints”). We tried to send up flares that bad things were going to happen if they didn’t get serious about the Air Force’s identity, but we were repeatedly rebuffed. As a result, the Air Force has done an abysmal job explaining why we even have a separate Air Force.

    So now we have this crap.

  8. DougM (μολὼν λαβέ)
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:42 am |

    ^ I don’t doubt that for a minute.
    A separate USAF was a WWII/Cold-War animal (go long and drop stuff).

    I was raised in another AF-agnostic stovepipe mission area,
    the old-NRO Fight Club (the first rule of Fight Club…).
    The Air Staff and Joint Staff assignments were true cultural liberations,
    with steeep learning curves.

    Fortunately, I was educated in engineering overall systems,
    big pictures, not technology-specific or mission-specific areas.
    Of course, that meant nodding my head wisely until I learned the cultures and details.

    Thank goodness the Sovs went tango-uniform when they did,
    ’cause I was gettin’ in over my head.
    The Gulf War confirmed that, so I declared victory and went sailin’.
    Yep, time for younger, smarter guys to deal with the brave new world.