By Harry SarlesOctober 30, 2018
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.-- There is, has been, and will continue to be a Space Force said Thomas A. Gray, Space and Missile Defense Command liaison to the Combined Arms Center and Army University, in his presentation as part of the interagency brown-bag lecture series at the Command and General Staff College Oct. 24.
Gray said the United States has had a space force at least since the creation of the U.S. Space Command in 1985. He detailed the development of space beginning with the USSR launch of Sputnik in 1957 through the creation of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967 to today's proliferation of space-based capabilities.
He pointed out that although there were only five countries in space in 1967 there were 69 original signees to the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty was largely modeled on the Law of the Sea. It defined outer space as international, not belonging to any one country, and therefore open to use by all.
The treaty also specified activities that are not allowed in space, no WMDs in space or military activities on celestial bodies, and detailed rules on peaceful exploration and use of space. Today the number of signees to the treaty has expanded to more than 130 with 72 countries having satellites deployed.
Those satellites are needed for modern life. They provide: telecommunications, navigation and timing through global positioning satellites, security for missile warning, signal and imagery intelligence, and weather and environmental monitoring.
So, concluded Gray, we have a continuing need a Space Force to protect our interests in this important and rapidly developing environment. We have a space force now, he added, manned by a variety of military and civilian agencies.
He said he is uncertain if he will retire from the U.S. Army or the U.S. Space Force because development of the President's Space Force is still in its beginning stages and it isn't clear what activities will become part of the Space Force and what will remain with their current services.
The Interagency Brown-Bag Lecture Series is co-hosted by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School and the Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation. All lectures are free and open to the public. They are designed to enhance the academic curriculum of CGSC and to educate and inform the greater Kansas City area community.
The next scheduled lecture in the Interagency series is "Cyberwar and Deterrence," by Dr. Michael H. Hoeflich, professor of law at the University of Kansas. It is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 12:30, in the Arnold Conference Room, Lewis and Clark Center.