So many people thought it was a joke when President Trump announced last year that he was directing the U.S. Government to establish a 6th branch of the armed forces to operate in the cold confines of outer space by the year 2020.  Even the name he coined, "Space Force" sounded like the line of knock-off Star Wars toys in Walmart.  You know the one that features memorable characters like "Dark Bader Ginsberg," and "Bernie Wan-Shenobi."  Now that it's go time - it seems the Pentagon is making sure that the people and interests of our country will be protected well beyond the measly borders of our atmosphere - and that's no laughing matter.

Officially, the U.S. Space Command will commence operations on Thursday, August 29th.  According to USA Today, this entity will form the backbone chain of command for the fledgling U.S. Space Force.  In case you were wondering if this was a publicity stunt or not, allow me to point out that the U.S. Senate has appointed none other than Air Force Gen. John Raymond.  This highly decorated and seasoned commander has been at the forefront of our space-based military assets for a while now.

According to his official Air Force profile, the Clemson graduate has directed the 5th Space Surveillance Squadron at RAF Feltwell, England, the 30th Operations Group at Vandenberg AFB, California, the 21st Space Wing at Peterson AFB, Colorado, and the 14th Air Force, USSTRATCOM, Joint Functional Component Command for Space.  He was also in charge Space Forces in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Locally, we may start to see assets of our new extra-terrestrial fighting force at Barksdale AFB.  What kind of craft and/or operations to support the U.S. Space Command, and eventually the U.S. Space Force, will we see flying (and hopefully launching) out of the SBC?  That's probably unsure at this time, and most definitely top secret.