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Verbatim

Dec. 1, 2020

Space Reservations

Mike Tsukamoto/staff

As if 2020 hasn’t brought us enough surprises, U.S. Space
Command announced on Nov. 13 that the U.S. military can now
count Space Marines among its ranks … or something along those
lines.

Aerotech News, referring to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s activation of Marine Corps Forces Space Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

If the Marine Corps believes so much in the significance of operations in space as to stand up their own service space component, shouldn’t the Air Force do the same? Right now, if USSPACECOM was designated the lead COCOM for a major operation, the Air Force would be the only service without service representation to the operation!

Retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Thank You for Your Service

Lisa Ferdinando/DOD

Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.

President Donald J. Trump, via Twitter, announcing the appointment of Christopher C. Miller as Acting Secretary of Defense.

I serve the country in deference to the Constitution, so I accept your decision to replace me. I step aside knowing there is much we achieved … over the last 18 months to protect the nation and improve the readiness, capabilities, and professionalism of the joint force.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper in a letter to President Trump Nov. 9.

Homecoming

We are on the verge of defeating al-Qaeda and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish. … We are not a people of perpetual war–it is the antithesis of everything for which we stand and for which our ancestors fought. All wars must end.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller in a Nov. 13 letter to the military, his first following his appointment on Nov. 9.

Cops and Robbers

We might have to use guns when dealing with robbers, as that is the language that robbers understand.

Alpha Military Review blog on China’s Sohu.com, explaining a Nov. 4 government proposal to allow the Chinese Coast Guard to use force against foreign ships violating territorial waters.

Grateful

Spc. Michael Hunnisett/USANG

My grandfather served in the Philippines during World War II. He got to experience firsthand what it felt like to be on the losing side of peer competition, to know what it’s like to be an American not prepared for war. He learned about the Bataan Death March … as he marched past thousands of dead. And he was among the lucky few who survived the death ships and three and a half years in captivity. So I’ve spent the last 39 years … ensuring that no other American ever has to go through what my grandfather did.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson, speaking at his retirement ceremony Nov. 13.

Arctic Thawing

It is well-known that we have a unique icebreaker fleet that holds a leading position in the development and study of Arctic territories. … We must reaffirm this superiority constantly, every day. We must build up our positions, strengthen and update our fleet, introduce new advanced technologies in the construction of icebreakers and other vessels of that class.

Russian President Vladimir Putin while unveiling a new icebreaker vessel in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Nov. 3. The U.S. is in the process of expanding its own fleet as the military and commercial activity in the Arctic is growing. Business Insider, Nov. 9.

Changing Times

Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux

When I came in, cyber wasn’t a thing. Now, it is. Space was a benign environment. Now, not as much.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., USAF Chief of Staff, interview with Defense News, Nov. 17.