Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Space Force: Pence details plans for creation of 6th military branch

Space Force: Pence details plans for creation of 6th military branch

"In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands 'at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, '" Pence said.

He said that the report "identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new Department of the Space Force".

He said the countries "have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to manoeuvre their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems".

Mike Pence, the United States vice president, has announced plans to create a standalone "Space Force" by 2020, becoming the sixth branch of America's military.

WASHINGTON-Faced with growing competition and threats from Russian Federation and China, the White House on Thursday said it will create the U.S. Space Force as a sixth, separate military service by 2020. The command would be headed by a four-star general who would "be tasked with defending space", said the Post.

"Space Force" is the name given by Donald Trump to the idea of a new, free-standing military department focussed specifically on space. 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".

And Russia is working on an airborne laser to disrupt space-based systems, he added. This agency will streamline the process of ensuring the Space Force has the tools and technologies it needs when it needs them.

The report to be released today represents a critical step toward establishing the Space Force, he said.


The vice president insisted that the force, which the administration hopes to have in place by 2020, would "not be built from scratch", but draw from the men and women who are already running America's space programs.

He said that a new position would be created for an assistant secretary of defense for space.

The current branches of the United States military are the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force.

Despite no details, and no timetable, the Space Force will require congressional approval. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military's space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service.

While there is broad recognition of the necessity of protecting the USA military's assets in space - with satellites playing a central role in modern everyday life and military operations - there remains vigorous debate about the virtues of creating a separate military branch. In 2007, China fired a missile to destroy an aged weather satellite, demonstrating in a dramatic fashion its ability to deploy anti-satellite weapons.

"Both nations are also investing heavily in what is known as hypersonic missiles created to fly up to five miles per second at such low altitudes that they could potentially evade detection via our missile defence radars".

Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said on Twitter that Space Force "won't happen". "But history proves that peace only comes through strength", he added.

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