‘May our force live long and prosper,’ top Pentagon official declares, showing...

‘May our force live long and prosper,’ top Pentagon official declares, showing how names for the Space Force will emerge

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Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, speaks about space security at a Wednesday forum held by CSIS (TMN photo by Tom Squitieri)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has already solved a critical component of the fledging Space Corps Force: how to select names for the various elements that will be part of the new service branch.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, said planners have agreed to roughly divide the names needed by the new branch between those used in “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” films.

“May our force live long and prosper,” Roper said, during a forum on “Strategic National Security Space” Wednesday at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, melding phrases from both film worlds.

Roper said the U.S. has been forced to look at space as a contested war zone ever since China has demonstrated its aggression developing weapons to take out satellites and other space objects.

He said that it would be naive for the U.S. to ignore likely future threats in space and that “wars will extend into space until a new deterrence offsets” current advances by adversaries.

That is what he said must be a Pentagon priority — again having dominance in space. “A new industrial revolution and all its exciting possibilities,” Roper said — one greased by a guaranteed flow of money and speed of creation.

“The future is a deck of wild cards where hands are difficult to predict,” Roper said. “We have to be fast, we have to be adaptable and we have to work with the entire industry base, and we must have a few aces up our sleeves.”

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