Space Force Is Here: Vice President Pence Announces Sixth Military Branch

Mike Pence expected to announce plans for ‘Space Force’ in U.S. military

On June 18, Trump showed that he was serious about the Space Force by formally directing the Pentagon to create the new military branch. "But recently, our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself".

Military officials are concerned about threats posed by China and Russian Federation in particular.

"In the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead".

But Pence was unequivocal in presenting the administration's wish for it to become a reality - preferably by 2020, the end of Trump's term in office.

But Mattis signaled earlier this week that establishing a combatant command was a possibility.

That made it clear to the Pentagon that space, long seen as a peaceful domain, was a place where wars could be fought and won. "This is a process we're in. We must have American dominance in space".

"For many years nations from Russian Federation to China, to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communication satellites".

But with Russian Federation and China developing weapons that threaten USA satellites and investing in hypersonic technology, Pence said the nation could not afford inaction.

"Ultimately, Congress must act to establish this new department, which will organize, train and equip the United States Space Force", Pence said. The Department will build a legislative proposal for congressional consideration as a part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget cycle.

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

The top House Republican and Democrat on an Armed Services Committee panel on strategic forces applauded the plan.

As a Hugo-winning scifi writer, I feel qualified to say: The United States needs quality health care for its people far more than it needs a "Space Force".

"This report is a step in a multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America", the statement reads.

Critics view the creation of a Space Force as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor and scoff at comparisons to the establishment of the Air Force in 1947.

"There is a threat out there but it's being handled by the U.S. Air Force today". Pence said that the new military branch will be needed in order to protect American national security as the "space environment has fundamentally changed in the last generation".

"This is a half-baked idea", said Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant and military analyst at the Lexington Institute.

The Pentagon report, however, recommended that the unified command be in the hands of the Air Force for now. "If that same view prevails in Congress, then it isn't going to happen". "Success will demand the best of each of you", he said.

The Defense Department has to "prepare for the next battlefield", said Pence. Air Force officials and national security experts have spoken out against the creation of a separate Space Force.

"Across this department and our intelligence agencies, there are literally tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians and contractors operating and supporting our space systems - and together, they are the eyes and ears of America's warfighters around the globe", Pence said.

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