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Space military branch - Navy or Air Force?

Which branch should a space military branch be based on?


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samsmart

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Let's say space travel becomes common place, enough so that we're able to militarize it. What branch, including ranks, should it be based on - the Navy, the Air Force, or something else?

Most speculative fiction about space militaries have such a force be based on the navy. However, space seems to be the natural territory of the air force. So which should it be?
 

Catz Part Deux

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I think the Navy has more experience with distance-traveling vessels with multiple personnel, and the protocols for them. When you think about it, space travel would be very similar to being on a nuclear submarine.
 

ScottD

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Let's say space travel becomes common place, enough so that we're able to militarize it. What branch, including ranks, should it be based on - the Navy, the Air Force, or something else?

Most speculative fiction about space militaries have such a force be based on the navy. However, space seems to be the natural territory of the air force. So which should it be?
It's debatable really. The Navy is a smart choice because the command structure of a large spaceship would probably work like a Navy ship, so it would be the smart choice, but some Science Fiction stories do go with Air Force, like Stargate SG-1.
 

molten_dragon

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I think it's far more likely that we would simply create a new branch of the military.
 

Ikari

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There's no air in space, so it'll have to be the Navy.
 

Goshin

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I think it's far more likely that we would simply create a new branch of the military.

Probably yes... but the question is whether it would be based more on the Navy, in terms of structure, organization and rank, or the Air force. Unless you think it will be entirely unique in that regard? Perhaps... but why reinvent the wheel when you have a working model, like the nuke-sub analogy.

At the moment, our spacecraft are small, with small crews. As long as that remains the case, the Air force model will do. If/when we get to the point of having crews numbering more than 10 or 20, I think the naval model would likely work better. It will depend on several things that are hard to predict.
 

The Mark

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It depends.

Are you thinking of large ships with tens or hundreds (even thousands) of crewmembers?

Then the Navy has the most experience with such things, and drawing on that experience would be a good idea.

If you are thinking of small, perhaps at most 15 person ships, then the Air Force might have better methods in some respects.

More likely, any space military would pull expertise from all military branches, depending on what needed done.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Are we assuming that the american military militarizes space? I always wondered whether or not there wouldn't have been cooperation by the point space could be militarized.
 

Kal'Stang

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The question is moot really. Last I knew NASA was under Airforce jurisdiction. So it would probably stay the same.
 

Captain America

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Initially, it being a new frontier, it would be Navy, hands down. Has to be. But I am certain there are roles that the Air Force could offer that would be beneficial. They got some pretty smart guys too.

But after it get's dialed-in and common place, such as air travel is today, I am sure the Air Force can more than adequately assume the position. And are even better suited for it. They are the best.

The Navy avaitors just takes "best" to a higher level. It would be a shame to waste such talent on such mundane things that have become run-of-the-mill repetition. There is ALWAYS another frontier beyond.
 
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WI Crippler

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I don't think there is an issue with either one. Both have clear command rank structure. The Navy has more expertise(IMO) in long term logistics considerations, so their input would be greatly valued in that arena. Each branch would probably specialize in some aspect of space colonization. I can see Army units working as long term security and infrastructure building on planet/moon surfaces, the Navy moving people and supplies to where they need to be, the Air Force sending out reconnasaince craft/establishing communication satellites and the Marines can fight the Klingons, until we reach a truce.
 

hallam

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The Marines is the best service here. They have comparable ship experience as the navy. They have the landing capabilities as the army. And they have the fighter "jet" capabilities and experience.
 

Captain America

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The Marines is the best service here. They have comparable ship experience as the navy. They have the landing capabilities as the army. And they have the fighter "jet" capabilities and experience.
I think one would be hard-pressed to not agree that the Marines are the best of the best of the best. I know. I used to instruct them. I speak more from a point of perspective. I mean, it's the NAVY, that is famous for giving the Marines their ride to work.

Saying that the Navy is best suited for the question posed in the thread takes nothing away from the Marines. As I said, in the most important applications, it's Marines all the way baby. Ooo-rah.

But regarding the topic at hand, it's Navy all the way. No one compares in the air to a Navy avaitor. All our branches do their job and do it well. No other nation in the history of mankind can compare to the US military. Marine's ARE the cream of the crop of that military. Except, perhaps, in this particular application. Just my opinion.

P.S. I served on a carrier with too many Marine's to count. The duties, compared to the navy's, were not even close to comparable. The Marine's job was a whole different ball of wax, than the sailors. Nothing comparable at all. But I thank god we had those Marines onboard. They reminded us, and pointed the way everyday, what it means to be an OUTSTANDING military person. They are a very tough act to follow.
 
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WI Crippler

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I think one would be hard-pressed to not agree that the Marines are the best of the best of the best. I know. I used to instruct them. I speak more from a point of perspective. I mean, it's the NAVY, that is famous for giving the Marines their ride to work.

Saying that the Navy is best suited for the question posed in the thread takes nothing away from the Marines. As I said, in the most important applications, it's Marines all the way baby. Ooo-rah.

But regarding the topic at hand, it's Navy all the way. No one compares in the air to a Navy avaitor. All our branches do their job and do it well. No other nation in the history of mankind can compare to the US military. Marine's ARE the cream of the crop of that military. Except, perhaps, in this particular application. Just my opinion.

P.S. I served on a carrier with too many Marine's to count. The duties, compared to the navy's, were not even close to comparable. The Marine's job was a whole different ball of wax, than the sailors. Nothing comparable at all. But I thank god we had those Marines onboard. They reminded us, and pointed the way everyday, what it means to be an OUTSTANDING military person. They are a very tough act to follow.
Marines aren't set up with the logistical capability for prolonged activity. That's what the navy does have.
 

The Mark

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In most of my favorite Sci-Fi movies/books/whatever, the "space military" has usually consisted of a "space navy" with a (much like our current Navy) "space marine" component attached to each ship, for varied purposes.

Of course, most of my favorite Sci-Fi medias assumed a space ship/craft with a relatively large size, demanding a correspondingly large personnel contingent, very similar to (and a few cases a modified version of) a current Navy ship/sub.

This is likely because using the current Navy ship setups as a template was a good starting point for the authors involved.

That said, we then have the Star Trek idea, where the ship’s crew is a sort of combo of both navy and marine personnel. I suppose the “security” on a Star Trek ship is the equivalent of Marines, in a way, however…

Who knows?
 

Captain America

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I say we send Commander Cody and the Space Cadets.

But I just got a thought. The marines are actually a Department of the Navy. I would think they would impliment both arms of the body to achieve maximum results.
 
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molten_dragon

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Probably yes... but the question is whether it would be based more on the Navy, in terms of structure, organization and rank, or the Air force. Unless you think it will be entirely unique in that regard? Perhaps... but why reinvent the wheel when you have a working model, like the nuke-sub analogy.

At the moment, our spacecraft are small, with small crews. As long as that remains the case, the Air force model will do. If/when we get to the point of having crews numbering more than 10 or 20, I think the naval model would likely work better. It will depend on several things that are hard to predict.
Yeah, I sort of just glazed over the OP and answered what I thought was being asked. I guess I should have paid more attention.
 

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I would say the Navy.

But mostly because of my extreme love of Mass Effect. lol
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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It makes no difference. Air Force command structure evolved from it's Army Air Corps roots, Navy command structure evolved with the Navy. Both Army and Navy have experience managing large numbers of skilled trades to achieve military objectives. Admiral? General? Doesn't matter, they'll both stab the enlisted guy in the back if needed. An turd doesn't smell any better when it's called petunia.
 

Demon of Light

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It would without question begin as an air force branch. Right now you have the Air Force Space Command that controls all military space vehicles. The first military vehicles in space will be like the X-planes being tested now and that means they will without question be part of the air force.

Think like how the air force began. At first it was under the army because it was most commonly used in support for the army. Personally, I think most countries after the U.S. will just make a separate branch if the U.S. doesn't branch it off from the Air Force.

When it comes to rank there will obviously be a mixture no matter what as any space force will likely include smaller fighters and ground forces.
 

jamesrage

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Let's say space travel becomes common place, enough so that we're able to militarize it. What branch, including ranks, should it be based on - the Navy, the Air Force, or something else?

Most speculative fiction about space militaries have such a force be based on the navy. However, space seems to be the natural territory of the air force. So which should it be?

I agree with most people on this that it should be based on the navy seeing how Navy has more experience traveling long distances with lot of personal in a big ship which exactly a military space force would be doing.
 
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