Pence says U.S. has never needed a 'Space Force' more

Posted August 10, 2018

Today Vice President Mike Pence travelled to "military central", the Pentagon, and laid out an ambitious plan to establish a "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the United States military.

Pence said the administration will create a single civilian position reporting to the secretary of defense to oversee the growth and expansion of the new branch.

In terms of practical considerations, Pence mentioned a couple of activities that will be folded into the space force. So, before we can "have the Space Force", as Trump put it, the White House will have to convince lawmakers that the USA really needs it. It is eventually up to politicians to vote to authorise the new branch of the military. Except Mars has nothing to do with Trump's proposed Space Force and none of them are as fun as the ones that Bloomberg came up with.

But President Donald Trump is leaving the heavy lifting to his supporters ― at least where the logo is concerned.

Trump first broached the idea in March, reviving a debate that began nearly 20 years ago about whether the Pentagon's space activities should be moved to a new command.

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In June, the president directed the Pentagon to create a "separate but equal" space force, a complicated and expensive move that could take years to gain Congress' approval and become operational.

Shortly after Pence's speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!".

The U.S. already has a space-based military footprint.

In attendance were Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, and National Guard Bureau Chief Air Force Gen. Sean Lengyel.

Trump said last week that he had ordered the Pentagon to begin the process of creating a Space Force as a new branch of the military.

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At an event for Marines, Trump said "I was saying it the other day - 'cause we're doing a tremendous amount of work in space - I said, maybe we need a new force".

In a speech at the Pentagon in Washington DC, he said that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial. "Until we have those same needs in space, the Air Force and the other services are doing all the things we need to do".

The Pentagon will hire space experts to create the new force which will be headed by a four-star general and be operational by 2020.

The Department of Defense released a report on Thursday detailing the specifics on how it will carry out Trump's request to establish a Space Force by 2020. The Pentagon and intelligence community has a host of sensitive satellites that perform all sorts of vital national security tasks, such as missile warning, precision-guided munitions, military communications and intelligence.

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