The US Army is seeking to acquire a new space transportation capability that would allow soldiers to be launched on rockets for ultra-quick deployment anywhere in the world.

The proposal was included in the US Transportation Command documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information request.

Under the tender, the Pentagon will partner with private space exploration company SpaceX to bring the new capability to the armed forces.

The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division already has an Immediate Response Force that can be deployed anywhere in the world in just one day.

It was deployed in Iraq on New Year’s Eve and sent to Eastern Europe when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The capability would reportedly enable a quick reaction force to reach a location anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.

Case Studies

The 2021 report on space transportation capabilities presented various case studies to support “point-to-point space transportation” for the military.

It explained that troops transported by rocket could offer a “rapid” and “direct” delivery of equipment and personnel from the US to an African military base, supporting various missions on the continent.

Space transportation could also help deter non-state actors from committing aggressive acts against the US.

Additionally, the rocket-launched quick reaction force could provide an “alternative method” for logistics delivery to the Pacific and the establishment of deployable air base systems around the globe.

South Korean military satellite
SpaceX launches Falcon 9. Image: Defense Acquisition and Program Administration

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