The U.S. Army has deployed the first batch of its newly established military branch, the “Space Force”, outside the United States, specifically in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Chargé d’Affairs at the United States Embassy in Qatar, Greta C. Holtz, said on her Twitter account on Tuesday, that “Washington has deployed the first group of the space force at Al-Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar.”
She added: “The deployment of the first group of members of the U.S. Space Force to Al-Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar represents the commitment of the United States and Qatar to continue building their strategic partnership in the future and in the space field.”
The Space Force was established by a decision of U.S. President Donald Trump on December 21, 2019, and is the first to be established in the country in more than 70 years, and represents the sixth branch of the U.S. military.
The Associated Press provides the following details:
In a swearing-in ceremony earlier this month at Al-Udeid, 20 Air Force troops, flanked by American flags and massive satellites, entered Space Force. Soon several more will join the unit of “core space operators” who will run satellites, track enemy maneuvers and try to avert conflicts in space.
“The missions are not new and the people are not necessarily new,” Benson said.
That troubles some American lawmakers who view the branch, with its projected force of 16,000 troops and 2021 budget of $15.4 billion, as a vanity project for Trump ahead of the November presidential election.
The deployment of the first members of the U.S. Space Force to Qatar’s #AlUdeid Air Base symbolizes the United States’ and #Qatar’s commitment to further building our strategic partnership into the future – and into space! @SpaceForceDoD https://t.co/smdDw0rqHF
— CdA Ambassador Greta C. Holtz (@USAmbQatar) September 22, 2020
The U.S.-Qatari relations in the military field are deepening, as about 13,000 American soldiers, most of them from the Air Force, are stationed at Al-Udeid base, 30 km southwest of the capital, Doha.
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This is kind of like a coming-of-age ceremony for Space Force. You’re not a full branch of the American military until you’ve deployed to the Middle East on some vaguely-defined and never-ending mission. https://t.co/JGYDBj7JGu
— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) September 21, 2020