On Friday, Space Force requested a budget of $17.4 billion for 2022, which would be a 13 percent increase in funding from 2021, reflecting Washington’s growing prioritization of space as it seeks to confront China and Russia.
While Space Force only accounts for 2.4 percent of the $715 billion that the Pentagon is requesting for 2022, it is the only military branch poised to get such a sizable increase in funding. Space Force is also expected to increase personnel, while other branches are cutting soldiers.
Space Force currently has 6,434 members or “Guardians,” as the branch calls them. In 2022, the number of Guardians is expected to increase to 8,400, a nearly 31 percent increase.
For comparison, the US Army is set to cut personnel by 1,800, although there would still be 1,010,500 soldiers. The Army budget is also being cut to $174 billion, down $1.5 billion from the 2021 fiscal year. The budgets for the US Navy and Air Force are being increased, but each branch will some personnel.
Since Space Force was formed in December 2019, its top officials have been hyping the threat of Russia and China in space to justify the existence of the new branch, and the hype appears to be working. The new funding will go towards things like missile defense satellites, space launch vehicles, and GPS.