4 April 2017
“Space aggressors” doesn’t sound like a positive thing, but the US Air Force is hard at work building up a Space Aggressor Squadron, which is meant to train Air Force personnel for a future in which the US has to deal with “evolving threats” in space.
If this sounds a bit fanciful, it’s because it is. Despite the hype present in the narrative, only a handful of nations have any capability to even put things into space, and efforts to protect US spacecraft from incoming missiles appears to defy the reality that no one has even fired a missile at a spaceship, and perhaps even more important, that the US doesn’t have any manned spaceships to begin with.
Still, protecting spaceships is sure to make for a juicy military contract for some lucky company, and the lack of spacecraft and the lack of potential attackers makes the risk of failure pretty low. Even bigger contracts are likely to be had, however, as the US hopes to develop offensive options.
This hinges on the idea of “space control,” that the Air Force can physically
capture and dominate regions of space, which is doubtless going to be a costly
proposition. Lt. Col. Kyle Pumroy is defending the need for this capability to
wipe out “nefarious” weapons that might conceivably be placed in orbit in the
future. It is unclear who would even conceivably place such weapons there, of
course, but that’s always beside the point when contracts are to be handed out.