Hat tip to 'Star Trek'? US Space Force names new unit 'SpOC'


Washington (AFP)

The United States' new Space Force military wing revealed Tuesday that one of its units would be named "Space Operations Command" -- or "SpOC" for short, in an echo of pointy-eared "Star Trek" character Spock.

An earnest statement from Space Force unveiled its organizational structure, but made no reference to SpOC's fictional predecessor who was the unflappable science officer on the Starship Enterprise.

"SpOC will be the primary force provider of space forces and capabilities for combatant commanders, coalition partners, the joint force and the nation," the statement said, adding SpOC would be headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

In the "Star Trek" television series and movies, Spock is a half-Vulcan alien, half-human character known for the catchphrase "highly illogical," who was most famously played by Leonard Nimoy.

President Donald Trump, who has described space as "the world's newest warfighting domain," founded Space Force as the country's sixth military branch after the army, air force, navy, marines and coast guard.

The SpOC unit is not the force's first brush with "Star Trek."

When Trump unveiled Space Force's logo in January, the design was widely compared to the "Star Trek" insignia of the franchise's Starfleet -- a fictional peacekeeping and exploration force of the United Federation of Planets alliance.

The logo has appeared as a pin on the uniforms of Spock and fellow crew member Captain Kirk ever since the sci-fi classic debuted in 1966.

Fans say "Star Trek" has a long history of foreshadowing real innovations from tablet computers to needle-free medicine injectors and real-time translators.