What is the Space Force?

My guess is that's why the US has a navy, an army, the Marines, and an air force, when Canada has the Armed Forces.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! U.S. Armed Forces > Around one milion, Canadian Forces > 38,000 active 20,000 reserved.
 

PeteyG

I can have an avatar now
Actually, Canada's armed forces are in one branch... but with a navy, an army, and an airforce, each under different 'commands'... that's pretty superficial.

My impression of Navy vs Space Forces is that the difference is largely superficial. They seem to wear pretty much the same uniforms (i'm thinking of WC3... I seem to recall slight uniform differences between Tolwyn and Blair at the start of WCIV). It's strange to me that Space Forces fly off a Navy carrier (just 'cause I'm used to it being Navy and sometimes Marine Corps pilots flying off carriers)...

The Confed military strikes me as being really really REALLY 'joint', which is something the modern U.S. military has been striving for for decades. Where all branches hold hands and work together to kill the bad guy. Confed Navy, Space Forces, Marines... a person's branch is ALWAYS second to their role in the chain of command.

Have we ever seen any evidence of interservice rivalries in Wing Commander? I suspect not (though please correct me if I'm wrong), and I suspect that the closeness of the military branches makes transferring between them not such a big deal (how many modern Navy officers would jump off a cliff before 'switching' to Air Force?)

Anyways, that's how I see it.
 

panther

Rear Admiral
As I recall, there were some bad feelings between the Marines and Navy mentioned in one of the novels (with regards to Repleetah).

There's also the Dekker/Maniac scene in WC4 - but overall, from what we see, they seem to mesh fairly well
 

NapoleanAce

Spaceman
No matter how well SF and Marines have merged, it's realistic to assume that there is certainly some tension between the two...not even 700 years of evolution could dilute that. In WC we get scant insight into this rivalry -- one indirect clue is Big Duke's comment in End Run "Hell, even without your Fleet it'd take ten Imperial legions to dig us out" (sorry I don't have the book in front of me for the exact quote.)
 

Dominator

Rear Admiral
One bad thing of having Space Force flying fighters and Navy commanding ships is that it brakes tradition (or rather rule) dating back from the beginning of carrier aviation that only naval aviators can take command of carriers and carrier battle (or strike - like they are now called in US Navy) groups. During WWII in the Pacific US admirals that had aviation experience (like Marc Mitscher or William Halsey) used carriers better than japanese admiral Nagumo who had no such experience.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
It's actually a federal law that was designed so people with no aircraft expierience couldn't command aircraft carriers.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
A law like that in WC would have kept that shotty Commander from being such an @$$ in Fleet Action.

Regarding the whole Space Forces thing, it makes sense from a certain perspective to have the Space Forces seperate from the Navy. IIRC Space Forces also serve in a ground capacity, providing planetary fighter cover. Wouldn't make much sense to have a Naval Air Wing tied down like that.

It also allows for greater mobility/customability. You can, for example, pull the entire Space Forces Wing out of a carrier and transfer it to a ground base or another carrier. The wing essentially operates as it's own unit, and the ship as another. While some of their duties and jobs might overlap, you can swap either of them frequently and not suffer the consequences.

The reason the US has seperate pilots for the Navy, Air Force, and Marines is actually pretty simple. Each one of these groups does a differant job. The Air Force is in charge of Strategic Bombing (the big picture, ending the war). The Navy is charged more with Air Superiority, and a MOBILE attack force. The Marines meanwhile have a differant directive. If you notice in WWII there are both Marine and Navy fighter squadrons operating in the same Theatres/Campaigns (etc etc). The Navy Pilots were very good at blowing things up, and ships, too. But they couldn't do precision bombing worth a damn. This was due only partially to technological inconveniences.

The Marine pilots, meanwhile, "wrote the book" on close in support (I think the range was within 400 feet of friendly) precision bombing. Because of their perfection with this, and the Navy's pilots lack of abilites to do this, the Marine Corps established it's own Air Force to preform these support missions.

The Army meanwhile, still maintains an Air Force. It's mostly made up of Helicoptors for attack/transport. They rely more on the Air Force for cover then any of the other services.

It's true that in WC we see a true merging of the services. This was forged really under wartime, after 30 years of war it was necessary for the services to become interdependent to survive. Since WWII only lasted 4 years, the US never got that chance.

Maybe it'll change with the new Joint Strike Fighter.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Today's modern Naval Aircraft sqaudrons do operate independiately (sp) of the cariers. After deployments they might be reassigned to a new carrier.
 

PeteyG

I can have an avatar now
Jason_Ryock said:
It also allows for greater mobility/customability. You can, for example, pull the entire Space Forces Wing out of a carrier and transfer it to a ground base or another carrier. The wing essentially operates as it's own unit, and the ship as another. While some of their duties and jobs might overlap, you can swap either of them frequently and not suffer the consequences.
You shouldn't need to have separate military branches just to achieve interchangeability. This is definately NOT the reason for having a separate Navy and Space Force.

It's true that in WC we see a true merging of the services. This was forged really under wartime, after 30 years of war it was necessary for the services to become interdependent to survive. Since WWII only lasted 4 years, the US never got that chance.

Maybe it'll change with the new Joint Strike Fighter.
One THE main focuses for the US military for the past 20 or so years has BEEN on working well together, and they have been quite successful. The JSF is just a shiny new toy.

I think that the relationship between Navy and Space Force goes beyond 'jointness', so that the distinction between the services is less than ceremonial, and laregly a matter of semantics.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Responses

Firstly anyone still interested in the Seperation of Services should visit the following link (Which by the way, was a pain in the butt to locate but was worth it in the end).

http://www.uhuh.com/laws/donncoll/eo/1947/EO9877.TXT

Carefully reading of that document explains the seperation between the Naval and the Air Force aviation divisions.

Before I translate that better into Wing Commander terms let me say two things:
First this is all theoretical, as I believe this entire debate is since we will probably never know the true answer. It's one take on the situation based on the evidence I've seen.
Second I am well aware that a Global Union is formed on Earth and the United States is not necessarily the leader. I am ware the this Executive Order is American in origin. I didn't pick it because it was American, I picked it because it's the closet thing I can find to support the reason there is a seperate Space Force in Wing Commander.

This is how I think it would lay out in the Terran Confederation:

Executive Order 9877 said:
Functions of the Terran Confederation Navy
General
The Terran Confederation Navy includes naval combat and ship service forces. It exists and is equipped primarily for forces in Space. The Navy is responsible for the preparation of naval forces need to provide a response in a time of war and in a time of peace.

The specific functions follow:

1. To organize, train and equip naval forces for:
a. Operations in space, including joint operations.
b. The control of vital space regions, the protection of jump transition points, and the suppresion of enemy naval forces.
c. The support of occupation forces as required.
d. The seizure of minor enemy shore positions capable of reduction by such landing forces as may be comprised within the fleet organization.
e. Naval reconnaissance, Naval intelligence, and protection of shipping.
f. The air transport necessary for essential internal administration and for air transport over routes of sole interest to naval forces where the requirements cannot be met by normal air transport facilities.
2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of naval combat and service elements, coordinating
with the other services in all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious operations.
3. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may
be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.
4. To assist the other branches in the accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.

Functions of the United States Air Force
General
The Terran Confederation Space Forces includes all military aviation forces,oth combat and service. It is organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained air offensive and defensive operations. The Space Forces is responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned.

The specific functions of the United States Air Force are:
1. To organize, train and equip air forces for:
a. Air/Space operations including joint operations.
b. Gaining and maintaining general air supremacy.
c. Establishing local air superiority where and as required.
d. The strategic air/space forces of the Terran Confederation and strategic air reconnaissance.
e. Air/Space lift and support for airborne operations.
f. Air/Space support to land forces and naval forces, including support of occupation forces.
g. Air/Space transport for the armed forces, except as provided by the Navy.
2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of Space Forces combat and service elements, coordinating with the other services on all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious and airborne operations.
3. To provide the means for coordination of air defense among all services.
4. To assist the other services in accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.

To expound upon that a bit (I apologize if it's hard to read) there are a few points which seperate the Space Forces from the Naval Forces.
1) Strategic Bombing
This fall under the Space Forces category, and refers specifically to the destruction of military assets and military production assets that will hamper the war on the larger scale.
2) The control of vital space regions, the protection of jump transition points, and the suppresion of enemy naval forces.
Clearly this is not something that could be assigned to the Space Forces, though, they might play a large part in it.

To sum up the argument effectivly:

The Naval Forces need to be mobile and able to operate independently. This provides a larger problem in Space (then in, say, WWII for example, where we had islands to operate from). Each ship must itself contain all the goods it needs operate effictivly, including weapons. It's charger primarily with controlling space, and defending key points, and assiting with landings (something the Space Forces would likely be charged with as well).

The Space Forces serve more as a stationary force. If you think of a ship (or a fleet) like a planet, then it really starts to make sense. The Fleet is charged with destroying the enemy ships, and the fighters are there to defend it, just like they would a planet. They might use the fighters to that end, to help destroy the ship, but the primary role of the fighters is defense and strategic strikes. Because they lack the longer range they must embark on carriers to preform strategic bombing (this is only an issue in space).


I should add also:
In the US Military it is true that Naval Wings are rotated around, but you will never hear of a Naval Wing being assigned to a Naval Base for the Air Defense of the United States. This is because the primary mission of the Navy is NOT to operate on land, or near land in it's defense. The Space Forces in Wing Commander have reserve units (We see this in WC3 and WC4, and in Fleet Action) identical to the Wings on the carriers (they trade ships and pilots freqently). The Space Forces duty, when assigned to a base, is to operate from it in it's defense and in an attack role if that should be required. Not true with Naval Wings assigned to Naval Bases. Now, it is true that the US operates P-3 Orion squadrons in defense of the US, but if you read the link about the roles of the services you will note that the Navy's mission includes anti-submarine and anti-shipping capabilites.

Also, in regards to the "jointness" of the US Military service, Friction has existed between those units since their inception, and it's doubtful it will ever go away. It is WRONG to look 20 years in the past and say that in the last 20 years things have changed. You have to start at the beginning: and that would be the birth of Carrier Aviation. That was when the problems started, 60 years ago, not 20. It's true that great strides have been made in the last 20 years, but Navy men (and women now, I'm not a sexist pig) are nothing if not traditional, and tradition for nearly 60 years has been at odds with the other services. It is true also that the Navy has allowed Marine Squadrons to operate off of it's carriers: I stress that this is my opinion, based on someone elses information that I read but from what I gleen this is more due to the fact that our carriers are designed to operate with 90-100 aircraft on board, and instead have to sortie with less then 60 because of defense cutbacks. Allowing Marine squadrons on board beefs up the air power of a carrier, and what's a carrier without air power?

I apologize for the long post. =P

[Edit]

I forgot to mention: about a year after it was signed, Executive Order 9877 was overturned by Executive Order 9950. I have no idea what 9950 says, it took me an hour and three phone calls to a friend at a Senators office to find the text to 9877. Similar searches for 9950 proved useless. Still, I think that 9877 stands well on it's own, even with this fact in mind, and still proves the point I was trying to make.
 

Stealth_C^

Spaceman
What aviation experience did Admiral Raymond Spruance? He was arguably the greatest carrier commander of WWII. Only thing I ever heard about him was that he was a cruiser commander previously.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
He was a Cruiser commander, but as someone once put it "He knows carrier tactics."

The problem at the time was that the normal Carrier Commanders were in action, or out of action for one reason or another, and, this was prior to the Federal law requiring Aviators to be CO's of Carriers or Task Forces.

Should add Also, it was during wartime, which naturally is goverened by more bendable rules then peacetime.
 

Stealth_C^

Spaceman
Dominator was talking about our WWII admirals with all kinds of aviator experience being vastly superior to the Japanese. I thought it only fair to point out that one of the best didnt have much in the way of any that Im aware of.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Well what Dominator said was pretty much BS. The Aviator Commanders of the Carriers in WWII were devided into two groups:

The new group, that was raised in the Navy that was building Air Power (which included Mitscher, so he was only half-wrong) and the old group that had the "latecomers" to Naval Aviation, which included Halsey. He was raised in the era of the Battleship. Also, prior to WWII and the defeat of the battleships at Pearl Harbor, the US Navy WAS a Battleship Navy. It was only by necessity that they became a carrier Navy.

The Japanese Navy entered WWII prepared and expecting Carrier Combat. They saw it's uses long before the United States did (Evidenced by their attack on Pearl Harbor with primarily an Aircraft Force). While it's true that Nagumo did not have any Aviation, he had a man named Genda assigned to his staff. Genda was the Air Operations Planner (IIRC) for Nagumo, and gave him his tactics. Further, prior to the start of the war, Nagumo and Genda participated in a number of fleet manuvers which pioneered Japanese Carrier Tactics.
 

overmortal

Bearded Person
When I said "Maybe he switched over after SO2", I was referring to Jason Bondarevsky. How's that pronounced, anyway? How about someone who actually knows, not some jackass's homemade opinion. I always assumed it was something akin to "Boned-airv-skee". Or possibly "Bond-air-ev-skee"
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
No one actually knows, and, by the way, all you've seen on this board has been opinion, with the exception of the posts regarding the US Military, which is fact.
 

overmortal

Bearded Person
I meant opinion about the actual pronunciation of a name which, quite possibly, exists in the actual world we live in. It's russian, we know that. How would such a name actually be pronounced?
 
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