US Space Force deploys its first troops to Arabian Peninsula
US Space Force deploys its first troops to Arabian Peninsula. Space Force now has a squadron of 20 airmen stationed at Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment, learned citing wionews.
The newly formed US Space Force is deploying its first troops, not to space but to the Arabian Peninsula.
Space Force now has a squadron of 20 airmen stationed at Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment.
The force, pushed by President Donald Trump, represents the sixth branch of the US military and the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947.
Col. Todd Benson, director of Space Force troops at Al-Udeid said ”We’re starting to see other nations that are extremely aggressive in preparing to extend conflict into space. ”We have to be able to compete and defend and protect all of our national interests.”
In a swearing-in ceremony earlier this month at Al-Udeid, 20 Air Force troops, flanked by American flags and massive satellites, entered Space Force. Soon several more will join the unit of ”core space operators” who will run satellites, track enemy maneuvers and try to avert conflicts in space.
Several American lawmakers view the branch, with its projected force of 16,000 troops and 2021 budget of $15.4 billion, as a vanity project for Trump ahead of the November presidential election.
The decision to deploy Space Force personnel at Al-Udeid follows months of escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
Hostilities between the two countries, ignited by Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the US from Iran’s nuclear accord, came to a head in January when US forces killed a top Iranian general. Iran responded by launching ballistic missiles at American soldiers in Iraq.
This spring, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched its first satellite into space, revealing what experts describe as a secret military space programme.
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Iran’s space agency, accusing it of developing ballistic missiles under the cover of a civilian programme to set satellites into orbit.