With one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind, the troops of the US Space Force have now boldly gone where many American soldiers have gone before.
Earlier this month, 20 U.S. soldiers were sworn in as Space Force recruits at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, becoming the first overseas-deployed troops of the new U.S. military wing.
It comes amid a Space Force recruiting drive and criticism that this is a vanity project for President Donald Trump.
“This group is making history,” US Air Force Col. Todd Benson, director of space forces at US Air Force Central Command, told the squadron of airmen as they officially changed branches. soldier during a ceremony on September 1.
“These are the first members of the US Space Force to be deployed in support of combat operations,” he added, according to a press release from the Space Force.
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US troops are of course not new to the Middle East, but this is actually where the first “space war” took place, historians say. It was during Operation Desert Storm of 1991 that US troops first used satellite GPS while pushing Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.
The new military service, overseen by the US Air Force, said it did not intend to immediately put troops into orbit.
Rather, its mission is to protect American assets such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said the Space Force will consist of around 16,000 military and civilian personnel.
The Trump administration has allocated $ 40million (£ 34million) to fund the force in its first year.
The Space Force has at times been mocked since President Trump established it as the first American military wing since the addition of the Air Force in 1947.
Netflix has a comedy series of the same name, and jokes have been made on everything from choosing not very intergalactic-looking woodland camouflage uniforms to using a badge resembling the Star Trek logo.
The force defended its use of camouflage uniforms, saying it “uses current army / air force uniforms” and “saves the cost of designing / producing a new one.”