U.S. Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond and Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee at the 33rd Space Symposium breakfast in April 2017 where Rogers was the featured speaker. Credit: Tom Kimmell

COLORADO SPRINGS – Following the U.S. Air Force announcement that the service will be creating a new three-star staff position focused on space, two key lawmakers said it doesn’t address the core problems.

We appreciate the Air Force taking steps to place more attention on national security space; however the solution will not be to create additional organizational layers on the Air Staff and cannot be confined to a fix within the Air Force,” said a statement published Tuesday night from Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) and Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee).

Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, and Cooper, the ranking member, released their statement following Gen. Jay Raymond’s speech at the 33rd annual Space Symposium here.

Raymond, the leader of Air Force Space Command, announced Tuesday the service was creating the deputy chief of staff for space position at the Pentagon to be filled by a three-star general. This would create a leadership role focused on policy and planning for space, in the same way that the Air Force has staff positions for missions ranging from strategic planning to personnel.

The new position will ensure “that we can organize, train and equip our forces to meet the challenges in this domain,” Raymond said.

But Rogers and Cooper said they do not believe the changes will go far enough.

“We continue to believe that an effective and comprehensive solution must holistically address national security space organization and management by removing bureaucracy, aligning accountability and authority, empowering and developing the space professionals, and putting space on par with the other warfighting domains,” the congressmen said in the statement.

Speaking at the symposium Tuesday morning, prior to Raymond’s announcement, Rogers said his ultimate goal is to create a separate space force within the military.

“We have to acknowledge that the national security space structure is broken,” the congressman said. “It’s very hard for a government bureaucracy to fix itself, and that’s exactly why congressional oversight exists.”

Phillip Swarts is the military space reporter for SpaceNews. He previously covered space and advanced technology for Air Force Times, the Justice Department for The Washington Times, and investigative journalism for the Washington Guardian;...