US Space Force Defines 'Spacepower' In First Official Doctrine

The USSF believes space will become a new war-fighting domain and wants to have the "high ground" over its adversaries.

The United States Space Force (USSF) has published its first official doctrine, highlighting 'Spacepower' as a unique military capability, vital for American "prosperity and security".

The publication details the guiding principles of the evolving approach, which is centred on the US desire for a "peaceful, secure, stable, and accessible" space domain.

The doctrine has been tailored to what the Space Force regards as a new reality, in which adversaries have made space a war-fighting domain.

Though peace is the named goal, Spacepower is said to be "inextricably linked to war".

A military presence in space is said to give the US the "high ground" over those who look to "undermine" its interests.

The document also lists "legal overflight of any location on the earth" as a motivation.

Space Force officially became a new branch of the US military in December last year.

Colonel Casey Beard, Commander, Space Delta 9 says work on this publication began months prior to this.

"We started work in August 2019 and met every two weeks - brainstorming, debating, building an outline, and assigning sections to draft," he said.

An Atlas V CST-100 Starliner rocket successfully launches over a Redstone rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the day Space Force was established in 2019 (Picture: US Air Force).

The UK, Canada, and Australia all helped to form the ideas presented in the framework.

"One of the principles of an independent service is the creation of doctrine," said General Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, USSF.

“The Space Capstone Publication explains why spacepower is a vital element of US prosperity and security – now and in the future – and guides its employment in multidomain operations," he said, adding the doctrine will adapt to stay "on the cutting edge" of US interstellar interests.

In March, Space Force launched its first national security satellite, the $1bn, 6,168kg equipment transported by an Atlas V rocket.

Around 6,000 US Air Force personnel are set to join the latest American armed service, which is tasked with providing GPS across the entire military and monitoring the threat posed by and to thousands of satellites.

"Agility, innovation, and boldness have always been the cornerstone traits of military space forces," Gen Raymond said.

"We must continue to harness these traits as we build our new service and a new professional body of knowledge."

Cover image: Encapsulated X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for United States Space Force-7 mission (Picture: Boeing).