Prying Space Eye? New US Military Branch Gets Its Own Intelligence Wing
© AP Photo / Staff Sgt. Kayla WhiteIn this photo released by the U.S. Air Force, Capt. Ryan Vickers stands for a photo to display his new service tapes after taking his oath of office to transfer from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Space Force at Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.
© AP Photo / Staff Sgt. Kayla White
The wing itself is an interim organisation, which will eventually be transformed into the National Space Intelligence Center, taking over part of the activities which at present are carried out by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.
US Space Force has established its own intelligence group, called Space Force Intelligence Activity (SFIA), which will be based at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the online outlet SpaceNews reported, citing memos it had obtained.
The establishment of SFIA is a step towards separating the responsibilities of the US National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) into two separate organisations amid reports that the "air" and "space" departments of NASIC have always fought over resources. SFIA will take over the "space" part of the NASIC intelligence efforts, and will take on some of its employees.
However, SFIA is only a temporary structure, which will eventually become the National Space Intelligence Center, which will also be based at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and will be staffed mainly by former employees from SFIA, SpaceNews reports.
21 September 2021, 19:37 GMT
Before former president Donald Trump established the Space Force and SFIA, NASIC was responsible for collecting intelligence, which related to Washington's operations in space. Some US lawmakers - namely Republican from Ohio, Mike Turner - feared that the new structure will copying the NASIC functions, but the Space Force itself defended the project as necessary to properly focus on space-related issues.
The Space Force itself emerged from the US Air Force, which had been responsible for all military space operations in the country. However, the alleged emergence of satellite weapons and overall intensification of competition between nations in space prompted the creation of a new, separate military wing.