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Space Force releases 1st doctrine, defines “spacepower” as distinct form of military power

  • Published
  • By Ashley M. Wright
  • U.S. Space Force Public Affairs

Fewer than eight months after its creation, America’s newest military service published its first doctrine, the U.S. Space Force’s Space Capstone Publication, entitled Spacepower.


The SCP, which is the first articulation of spacepower as a separate and distinct form of military power, serves as a foundation upon which to build additional doctrine as expanding challenges are continually addressed in the changing space domain.


“One of the principles of an independent service is the creation of doctrine,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations, USSF. “The Space Capstone Publication explains why spacepower is a vital element of U.S. prosperity and security – now and in the future – and guides its employment in multidomain operations. As the USSF continues to grow and mature, we will continue to evolve our doctrine to stay on the cutting edge of defending our interests in space.”


The SCP embodies the Department of the Air Force’s continued commitment to establishing the Space Force in a manner that minimizes cost and bureaucracy and maximizes focus on space doctrine, training, and capability.


Covering a series of topics to include unique aspects of the space domain, the relationship between national and military spacepower, and the employment and development of space forces, this foundational doctrine serves as a key guidepost for the ethos and values of the nation’s newest armed service.


While existing joint and Service documents provide space-related doctrine, they were authored when space was still regarded as a benign domain. The new capstone publication is tailored to the present reality that our adversaries have made space a warfighting domain.


“Agility, innovation, and boldness have always been the cornerstone traits of military space forces,” Raymond said. “We must continue to harness these traits as we build our new service and a new professional body of knowledge.”


The work to write this doctrine began as a grass roots effort among a small team of people. “It was a coalition of the willing,” said Col. Casey Beard, commander, Space Delta 9. “We started work in August 2019 and met every two weeks—brainstorming, debating, building an outline, and assigning sections to draft.”


The team ranged in rank from Technical Sergeant to Colonel and also included a space professional from the U.S. Army.


In February, the USSF hosted a summit to develop the initial framework for Space Force doctrine. During the summit, representatives from all military services and exchange officers from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia offered additional recommendations on the scope and key ideas in the proposed publication. 


Given the emerging state of spacepower, this doctrine will inevitably evolve over time as it is applied, evaluated, and refined.


As the USSF defends the nation’s interests in the space domain, it will leverage the strategic foundation of the Space Capstone Publication to support the development of operational and tactical USSF doctrine, intended to guide the development and employment of military space forces.


The Space Force Capstone Publication can be found here. Space Force Capstone

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