President Donald Trump is reportedly considering firing Heather Wilson, the secretary to the U.S. Air Force.
Trump was apparently angered over Wilson’s handling of his directive to create a Space Force as a sixth and separate branch of the military, according to a Foreign Policy report.
Wilson recently upset Trump and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan with what the two deem as an effort to undermine the Space Force proposal. Trump may move to fire Wilson after the midterm elections on Nov. 6 but no final decision has been made yet, according to Foreign Policy and the Military Times.
Wilson has previously criticized ideas for a Space Force. She told Congress that removing space operations from the Air Force would could impede efforts to integrate space alongside other operations. But, last month Wilson said at the Defense News Conference that she supports Trump’s proposal.
“If we’re going to do this, let’s propose to do it right. Let’s have this debate, support the president’s proposal and put it forward and make sure that we don’t do this with half measures,” she said.
Vice President Mike Pence in August announced aggressive plans to create the new command by 2020.
Though most of the U.S. Air Force’s space planning and procurement is conducted at the Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo, Calif., the space debate could still have big implications for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said Loren Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute.
“Most of the Air Force space development work is conducted away from Wright-Patt,” Thompson said. “But, this does raise the question of what happens to NASIC. I think for the time being nothing changes because we need to to keep our air and space intelligence integrated.”
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