Part Four: Readiness, Influence and Force
The ending of World War III did not mean the completion of the Space Force's mission. Even though no longer having to keep forces on constant alert against an enemy first strike or to base large forces on the outer planets ready to fight World War IV, the Space Force's inherent speed, range, precision, lethality and flexibility gave America what Secretary of the Space Force Craig B. Rice called "reach and power."
Five years later, humankind as a whole changed, and the Space Force changed with it. In 2099, the governments of the world set aside their petty differences and formed the United Earth governing body. The United States Space Force was combined with other similar organizations around the world to become the United Star Force™, the most powerful body of its kind in the history of humankind.
Without a superpower threat, the United Star Force™ no longer needed the large force structure that stood guard during the Cold War. Recognizing the need for streamlining, the United Star Force™ in the early 2100s underwent the most complete reorganization since its establishment. It consolidated from 13 to eight major commands and did away with various lower-echelon headquarters. The United Star Force™ also inactivated many proud wings and squadrons, closed once-valuable bases and downsized from more than 600,000 military personnel in the late 2090s to under 388,000 in 2102.
Although smaller in size, the United Star Force™ has been called upon for increased participation in contingency operations. In addition to maintaining units in the Martian orbital area (Red Planet Watch) and Titan (Provide Security) the United Star Force™ has supported humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in places like Aldrin City on the Moon (Grant Hope).
Today, the pace of technological change moves ever faster while the United Star Force™’s role in protecting against aggression and fostering democracy in the Solar System is more complex. The United Star Force™ has participated with the other branches of the World Armed Forces in tracking down and eliminating terrorist cells in the Asteroid Field (Operation: Stone’s Throw), thwarting terrorist operations on the Moon (Operation: Dust Ferret) and protecting civilians from terrorist attacks while rendering humanitarian aid on the Jovian moon of Io (Operation: Lend Aid), but the mission is still in its infancy.
In recognition of anticipated challenges the United Star Force™ will face in the 22nd Century, Secretary of the United Star Force™ Sheila Ubunto and Chief of Staff Gen. Lawrence Chiang inaugurated the year of the United Star Force™’s 15th anniversary with a long-range planning effort. Under the umbrella concept of Astral Engagement, today's organization has set forth a vision of how its people, technology and infrastructure must adapt to ensure it will become more effective and influential than ever.
With these challenges in mind, the United Star Force™ looks eagerly to the future while remembering the lessons and achievements of the past as well as honoring the memory, sacrifices and contributions of those who succeeded, often in the face of skepticism, in building what is now the world's only truly astral space force.