American Space Force
The United States has a long and distinguished history in space, including the first lunar landing, the first re-useable space shuttle, and the first probes to the outer reaches of the solar system, among others. The latest example: the United States was the first nation without a colonial interest in the French Arm to battle the Kafer.
The United States was devastated during the Twilight War when the nation suffered nuclear attack, civil war, and occupation of the southwest by Mexico. Although isolationist policies had kept American forces out the many conflicts of that time, the Mexican occupation of southern Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas remained a sore issue with Americans. During the Mexican Civil War of 2099 to 2103, America supported Texas in its bid for independence. After Texas successfully liberated itself from Mexico, the United States returned to its isolationist
policies and remained a minor player in world politics.
By the mid-21st Century America had begun to recover from the Twilight War, and by the 2050’s the US had regained the ability to launch satellites and men, with the USAF Space Command reforming in 2063. The USAF Space Command was charged with defense of United States in space, at this time that means largely Earth orbit and lunar assets. As the United States established colonies and began deeper space exploration the USAF-Space Force was formed.
The American space program remained small until the ESA announced the development of a stutterwarp drive in 2086. Frozen out of access to ESA technology by France, America was forced to develop its own drive system, and turned to Australia for help. Since the Melbourne Accord of 2088, Australia had become an increasingly close ally of America, and both nations jointly developed a successful drive system powered by Australian and Spanish tantalum. When the first ESA probes reached Alpha Centauri in 2137, the rival American-Australian stutterwarp was ready for operational use.
The United States Space Forces remained a branch of the United States Air Force until the 1st Rio Plata war. Until this time, the US had only orbital and lunar bases and a few deeper solar system interests and limited colonial possessions, but those limited holdings were threatened by the use of privateers by both sides. After the war, the US realized that it needed to establish itself in space again, or be left behind by the deep space venturing nations.
The successful establishment of American and Australian colonies led to a modest expansion of America’s space forces, which were renamed the United States Space Force in 2175. The formation of the United States Space Force was an act of Congress in 2211 at the urging of the President. Upon formation the USSF drew its personnel largely from the Air Force, but it requested and received significant transfers from the US Navy (including many submariners), and NASA. This formation of the Space Force from both air force and navy assets has caused a few different traditions than the naval-based space forces of most other nations. All vessels are called either “craft” (not designed for interstellar travel) or “vessels” (designed for interstellar travel). Ranks are almost identical to the 20th century Air Force, with the exception of “Airman” being replaced with “Spacer.” Nevertheless, many nautical traditions have crept their way into ASF parlance: vessel classes often use nautical terminology, for example. Like naval vessels, USF ships carry the designation “U.S.S.,” but for United States Spacevessel.
For most of the 22nd Century the USSF was largely a colonial defense force equipped with frigates and a few destroyers. However, America found its forces increasingly outclassed by other nations, and with its considerable tantalum resources from King, began a crash build program to regain parity.
For most of USSF’s history it consisted of a few anti-piracy vessels, space fighters, and escort craft, but that all changed in the 2276’s when the American Party rode a wave of patriotism during the quincentennial and was elected the majority party in the House of Representatives. One of their primary platform goals was the rebuilding of America’s military and the formation of a Space Force second to none.
—based heavily on material by Robert C. Montgomery, USSF logo by Sean McKnight