Reality; go home; you drunk
January 22, 2020 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Signed into law Dec 20, 2019, Space Force is alive and has a space force hub named SPOC

SPOC was previously the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In a twitter-like message; the recruitment for this group notes that “maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet”

Signifying, perhaps, that it will be dominated by male personnel, SPOC will send notices to uniformed airmen "to inform them whether their specialty code is organic to the Space Force, organic to the Air Force, or shared between Air Force and Space Forces". And the camouflage uniform those personnel will sport is designed for those pesky forested environs of space.

"We've got some steps to go through," he said. "General Raymond's team has a -- a massive, incredibly well thought out and planned implementation process for ... uniforms, pay, songs, that they need to go through to get a Space Force ...
posted by mightshould (80 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
what

this is an arg for a netflix series isn't it

isn't it
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:29 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


It makes more sense to me to call it 'Vacuum Force' being as it is sort of the logical progression of Air Force.
posted by Brockles at 9:35 AM on January 22 [29 favorites]


I'm from Canada, so I haven't been following this closely. What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 9:37 AM on January 22


Keep us safe from the MCRN and Belters, of course.
posted by jquinby at 9:39 AM on January 22 [54 favorites]


Look for space weddings to drone strike.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:40 AM on January 22 [34 favorites]


Bring war to the rest of the universe.
posted by swift at 9:41 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Replace the Distant Early Warning system?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:46 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Grift long and prosper
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:47 AM on January 22 [31 favorites]


Slight sidenote: The term "airman" or "airmen" is used to refer generally to both male and female personnel by the USAF. When capitalized ("Airman"), it refers to a particular enlisted rank (E-2).
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:49 AM on January 22 [15 favorites]


songs?
posted by odinsdream at 9:49 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


It's supposed to do the exact same things that several existing military organizations do, but in a way that provides Donald John Trump a legacy.

However, it looks like the people who are actually making this change happen aren't convinced that said legacy is going to last long past Trump, and every move I've seen thus far will be easy to reverse when the Space Force is quietly retired after the current appropriations run out. I've seen enough FOB street signs get renamed when a new unit comes in to recognize this process.
posted by Etrigan at 9:50 AM on January 22 [34 favorites]


Creating a new branch of the US military might be Trump's most destructive decision yet in terms of lives and money. Can you imagine the trillions the military-industrial complex is going to make out?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:52 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Space Policy Directive-4:

The commander of this command will lead space warfighting through global space operations that may occur in the space domain, the terrestrial domains, or through the electromagnetic spectrum.

*raises hand*

But what about the Off-world colonies?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:52 AM on January 22 [11 favorites]


or through the electromagnetic spectrum exsqueezeme???
posted by supermedusa at 9:54 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I agree with Etrigan: this seems like a bunch of signs and patches that used to say "Air Force" are having the first word changed to "Space": it's all current AF servicemembers, for example, and no one is getting a new job except for the commanding general. *shrug*

It reminds me of companies where a terrible CEO is hired and flames out a year later, and everything quietly reverts. (Not to say that Gen. Raymond is the terrible one here: that's obviously Trump.)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:55 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


Trump's Goa'uld just wants to get home.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:58 AM on January 22 [15 favorites]


...through the electromagnetic spectrum.

Waveries CONFIMRED.
posted by The Tensor at 9:59 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Here's a fun tip to make this all a bit more tolerable:

Every time the Space Force is mentioned in the media or elsewhere, you should pronounce it like "SPAAAAAAAAAACE FOOOOOORCEEE!" like you're watching an animated series.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 10:01 AM on January 22 [20 favorites]


songs?

Astro shanties, surely
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:04 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


a massive, incredibly well thought out and planned implementation process for ... uniforms, pay, songs, that they need to go through to get a Space Force ...


I mean, songs would not have been in the top fifty things I would have listed for "stuff we need to make a new branch of the military a real thing" but Moon Patrol seems like the obvious choice here.
posted by nickmark at 10:04 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Man I wouldn't have thought there was a goauld dumber than Apophis but...
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:05 AM on January 22 [11 favorites]


I'm from Canada, so I haven't been following this closely. What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Well, you see, Donald Trump is a dipshit
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:05 AM on January 22 [60 favorites]


And as far as uniforms, my considered position is that they should make 'em look as much like the Lego Classic Space minifigs as possible.
posted by nickmark at 10:06 AM on January 22 [12 favorites]


Space Force is preparing to return to the Baron and his two sons (Feyd and Glossu "Beast" Rabban) to Giedi Prime, assuming the Landsraad can muster enough support.
posted by jquinby at 10:10 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

I would refer you to the Democratic congress who voted to fund the thing.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:12 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


It reminds me of companies where a terrible CEO is hired and flames out a year later, and everything quietly reverts.

A major problem with public governance is that politicians have Ideas, or worse, like Trump want a fire hydrant to leave their mark on. Name changes are the most trivial, easy and least damaging thing they can do. Actually changing business processes because they listened to the latest trendy business audobook on their last flight, that's more of a problem. I still have the matrix reporting shudders and that was almost 20 years ago now. This is all shits and giggles though, business as usual really. It's not existential.

The worst are those who know exactly what they're doing and target that to which they're ideologically opposed. This is Trump's real, lasting legacy, the hiring of the de Vosses and the Pruitts who know how to take their respective departments apart, the kleptocrats and hired guns who know how to do real damage. Those wounds aren't so trivial.
posted by bonehead at 10:13 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the Space Force is intended to be an offensive military team for taking out satellites and communications systems. I can't really think of any other point.
posted by Chuffy at 10:18 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?
I would refer you to the Democratic congress who voted to fund the thing.

Yeah, Space Force gave paid family leave to federal employees. That’s what Space Force is for.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:21 AM on January 22 [27 favorites]


I can't really think of any other point.

Dropping I-Beams from orbit.
posted by dazed_one at 10:23 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I agree also entirely with Etrigan, as far as I have heard so far this is a mostly cosmetic move, though there are also some aging crazy men in charge who have been excited for the concept of space-dropped marines and star wars in the past, so I'm also worried about the waste that comes from that, but yeah, mostly business as usual with new patches. It sure is a dumb name that will get headlines and make people joke about it though.
posted by neonrev at 10:23 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Moon Patrol seems like the obvious choice here.

Star Blazers
posted by The Tensor at 10:27 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Hey, if we don't stand up to guarantee Pluto's planetary status, who will?
posted by nickmark at 10:29 AM on January 22


I refuse to support the Space Force unless they have Wookiees.

No big, furry sidekick? No respect.
posted by drivingmenuts at 10:41 AM on January 22


TRIP TO THE SPACE WAR

    SPACE FORCE


   TRY IT NOW !!

 YOU CAN GET A LOT
 OF FUN AND THRILL
 
posted by scruss at 10:43 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]




(scruss I can hear the damn song and all the game noises right now thanks)
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:55 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Have you seen Moonraker?
posted by mazola at 11:10 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Basically consolidate a bunch of mainly deskbound engineers spread around the other five limbs of the US military into a single unit. There are folks tweaking the orbits of weather and communication satellites spread all over the place. There could very well be significant efficiencies getting folks together.
posted by sammyo at 11:12 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


(or a pre-galactic invasion coup)
posted by sammyo at 11:12 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


> Have you seen Moonraker?

So there's going to be a lot of making out on shag carpets in space? (It's been a long time since I saw it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:19 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Captain Rip Foster...... waiting for space, sir!
posted by clavdivs at 11:20 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


crazy (like a fox, mebe) men in charge who have been excited for the concept of space-dropped marines

Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space (127,852.4 ft) now imagine a micro-spaceship that instead of launching up had just enough fuel to slow the orbit and position a woman basically at that point, no super heated re-entry, well controlled, jump from orbit. Seems like a useful method long term, like for space tourists that get bored with the squishy food and want to go home early ;-)
posted by sammyo at 11:21 AM on January 22


The camouflage uniforms tho.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:29 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


Moon Patrol seems like the obvious choice here.

"There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)"
posted by wenestvedt at 11:38 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


(Totally 24-karat tags on this post, too!)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:39 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space (127,852.4 ft)

But he was jumping from a balloon at the very top of the atmosphere, and while he reached about the speed of sound, he encountered thicker air before he could build up a really dangerous speed. If somebody jumped from (say) 100 miles and fell (say) the first 70 miles in near-vacuum, they'd be traveling something like 3,300 mph (Mach 4+) when they started to encounter air resistance. That would not turn out well.
posted by The Tensor at 11:39 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


The camouflage uniforms tho

Lockheed could just take a space suit and airbrush some tentacles on it, tack on another $1-$2M to the price tag.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:43 AM on January 22


or through the electromagnetic spectrum exsqueezeme???

Serious answer, the Air Force (or I guess the "Space Force" for now) does a hell of a lot of work in comms, spectrum management, and similar technologies - both securing them for us and denying them for others. This is a fancy way of saying they're going to be responsible for blocking GPS signals over China, basically.

What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

Like the lede says, it's basically what the 14th is doing now. I've been to many Air Force bases that aren't much more than a couple office buildings and an antenna farm. A lot of this work includes launching satellites, maintaining satellites (including the GPS constellation), and "strategic defense" (ballistic missile early warning). AFSPC runs (ran, I guess?) Vandenberg as well as Cape Canaveral and Cheyenne Mountain.

Like others have said, I don't see this sticking around. It's a little unusual that it's happening so late in a presidential term, though - these kinds of "reorgs" tend to happen right when a new person steps in to office.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:52 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


If somebody jumped from (say) 100 miles and fell (say) the first 70 miles in near-vacuum, they'd be traveling something like 3,300 mph (Mach 4+) when they started to encounter air resistance. That would not turn out well.

It would, however, turn out well done.
posted by azpenguin at 12:15 PM on January 22 [16 favorites]


I was unclear.

A big rocket needs a lot of fuel, thus the method currently of using heavy heat shielding to air break. Don't do that. Use a small person-sized rocket pointed retrograde (backwards) to slow down outside of the atmosphere, to essentially "stop" at the point where Felix jumped.
posted by sammyo at 12:35 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


It would, however, turn out well done.

Well... maybe not.
posted by nickmark at 12:43 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


"maybe your purpose isn't on this planet..."

Dead Kennedys has a song called "One Way Ticket to Pluto".

I feel that is quite apropos to this Space Farce.
posted by symbioid at 1:04 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Honestly if this becomes the rapture, and all the Evangelicals who believe in it sign up maybe we can finally have the Kingdom on Earth finally. (if only religion were the only corrupt influence). Still though, it'd be a start.

Maybe the real christians can be the A-Ark and the pseudos that sucker them like Creflo Dollar and Trump and Robertson the B-Ark.

"Set the controls for the heart of the sun"
posted by symbioid at 1:08 PM on January 22


A big rocket needs a lot of fuel, thus the method currently of using heavy heat shielding to air break. Don't do that. Use a small person-sized rocket pointed retrograde (backwards) to slow down outside of the atmosphere, to essentially "stop" at the point where Felix jumped.

Pretty sure The Tensor meant that even if you've "stopped" and don't have your orbital velocity to burn off, a jumper is still gonna be falling ~150km accelerating at a wee smidge under normal gravity the whole time they're in more-or-less vacuum.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:31 PM on January 22


Would like to point out that reducing from orbital velocity to geostationary (NB: not a geostationary orbit) is non-trivial and would require a lot of energy and fuel. That's not a feasible thing even considering the other complications described above.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:07 PM on January 22


I'm just disappointed that the new uniforms don't include SPACE PANTS!
posted by briank at 2:11 PM on January 22 [8 favorites]




the new uniforms don't include SPACE PANTS!

They just couldn't get Dinklage to help promote them.

But if they want to make an argument for the camo uniforms, it would be that they are supposed to have the opposite effect and stand out against the bleakness of space, so no spaceman be left behind.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:32 PM on January 22


What, exactly, is the Space Force supposed to do?

"We have the technology. The time is now. Science can wait no longer. Children are our future. America can, should, must, and will blow up the moon."
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:46 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


> America can, should, must, and will blow up the moon.

Before some upstart Australian gets to it first!
posted by genpfault at 2:52 PM on January 22


No, this is basically about COLONIZING the moon under the American flag to build Trump Towers there.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:53 PM on January 22


The Gregory Brothers took a shot at the Space Force anthem.
posted by WCityMike at 3:11 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


The problem with war in space, and a very good reason for having had a treaty to prevent it, is that war in space makes peaceful exploration impossible. Area denial is very easy and cheap to pull off in space by just merely creating a lot of debris. Once we set a precedent of blowing up other people’s satellites, it’s trivial for them to blow up our’s. Once you reach a critical mass of debris in space, it’s game over for space exploration of any type.
posted by Skwirl at 3:34 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


One of these two stories is real:

1. First Space Force base named after Confederate general
2. New US Space Force Hub Renamed ‘SPOC’

(Sad that it's not immediately clear which story is fake, but a good way to introduce newbies to the Military's own version of the Onion.)
posted by Cris E at 3:54 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


I don’t know what they’re supposed to do, but he’ll probably try to send them to the border instead of whatever it is.
posted by Selena777 at 5:26 PM on January 22


" electromagnetic spectrum"
Sounds like Hair Furor is looking to disrupt his adversaries (I say "his", because the victims might not be adversaries of the American nation) with EMPs by cooking a few nukes off.
posted by AJScease at 5:27 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


The bit about "the electromagnetic spectrum" is going to send absolute shockwaves through the loony-tunes conspiracy weirdos, who are all convinced that interdimensional wars have been going on for thousands of years because they missed the memo where the alien races were supposed to be code for racism. (Not that they aren't also usually super racist, too.)
posted by Scattercat at 5:33 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell the only real new thing Space Force does is signal to every other country with half a rocket program that the militarization of space is on.
posted by ckape at 6:33 PM on January 22 [8 favorites]


this is an arg for a netflix series isn't it

Scrubs + catch-22 + forever war
posted by j_curiouser at 6:50 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Space, where the Grift never ends. Seriously, you can store tons of useless / expensive materiel in space. And you know how hard it is to get stuff up there? If it blows up or burns up three times, oh well, that s the mission.

I am honestly surprised they just pulled one of the unused camo designs out of mothball. You know how much money you can make off designing a new US military camo pattern? Sheeeeeet.
posted by eustatic at 6:54 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Hair Furor /golf clap
posted by supermedusa at 7:13 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


songs?

Space Jam! obviously
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:08 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Man I wouldn't have thought there was a goauld dumber than Apophis but...
Well, Lord Yu was canonically senile. So there is precedent.

There is good opportunity for funding a real defence against a genuine threat. That is asteroids.
There genuinely should be a (properly funded) space force working on looking for asteroids and figuring out ways of deflecting or capturing them.
Maybe Spaaaace Foooooorce will do some of this. I believe the USAF does do a little bit of it. But it always needs more budget.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:52 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


In space nobody can hear you crunching leaves n twigs n shit...
posted by symbioid at 12:44 PM on January 23


Now we can build attack ships so they can be set on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:40 PM on January 23


Songs, eh?

*gets out accordion*

*clears throat*

I dream of one last landing,
On the globe that gave me birth,
To gaze upon the fleecy skies,
And the green, green hills of earth.

posted by BrashTech at 5:15 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


this is an arg for a netflix series isn't it

well, yes
posted by sapagan at 12:08 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


There is good opportunity for funding a real defense against a genuine threat. That is asteroids.

This is very true but less urgent than it would seem from some tabloid articles. Most significant asteroids are mapped very accurately and there will be collisions soon *on a geographical* time scale, say within the next 10,000 years. And the actual probability of a rouge unknown rock is very very tiny.

If the current trial in the Senate fails and we continue with the same administration I'd fully support plans for a gleaming gold hotel on the moon with a `'uge T logo. Just to kickstart the exoplanet migration.
posted by sammyo at 8:14 AM on January 24


Oh wow. pic.twitter.com/uiJfOS1L1H— Miriam Kramer (@mirikramer) January 24, 2020


Via the verge
posted by sammyo at 4:19 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Trump’s Space Force Logo Was Apparently a Surprise to the Pentagon (Benjamin Wofford, Washingtonian)
The Pentagon told us copyright concerns were one reason a Space Force seal was taking so long. Then the President tweeted one.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:44 PM on January 25


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