As the fanfare around the new military service dies down, many unanswered questions surrounding the structure of the Space Force still remain.
The newest member of the armed services was officially stood up in December and received its first budget from the Trump administration as a "separate but co-equal" branch in February. But structurally the details of organizing, manning and training the new service and its members will be hammered out in the coming months.
Gen. John "Jay" Raymond was sworn in as the Space Force's first chief of space operations in January. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett assigned more than 16,000 uniformed and civilian members of the Air Force to the Space Force, the service's vice commander, Lt. Gen. David Thompson said in February. Most of those personnel came from what was formerly known as Air Force Space Command.
The service is expected to grow substantially, Thompson said during remarks at the Air Force Association's annual Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
"It is going to grow in the near future," he said. "As a result of the planning that we've done already in the agreement of our leaders--the secretary, the chief and others--there are organizations out there in the United States Air Force today that over the next days and weeks to come, will be realigned and reorganized under the United States Space Force."
According to Thompson, the service is in the process of working with the Defense Department to determine which capabilities and personnel in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps should be transferred.
This process is one of the biggest question marks about the force, said Todd Harrison, director of the aerospace security project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C-based think tank.
"One of the big unknowns right now is what parts of the other services are going to get transferred to the Space Force," he said.
In particular, the Army has ongoing space programs, such as Kestrel Eye--a small visible-imagery satellite designed to provide images to tactical-level ground soldiers--which will have to be transferred in order to avoid a fragmented space organization from remaining inside the Defense Department, Harrison said.
"So far, the Army does not seem to indicate that they want to transfer that to the Space Force, but I think that's a prime example of what should be transferred," he said. "The Army has well over 1,000 space operators as part of the Army...