Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

White House Describes Military 'Space Force,' Aims To Create It By 2020

White House Describes Military 'Space Force,' Aims To Create It By 2020

In June, Trump ordered the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to being the process of creating a sixth military branch known as Space Force.

Pence now serves as chair for the president's revitalized National Space Council. Last November, lawmakers shot down a proposal for a "Space Force", and Trump's new pet project could face continued legislative uncertainty.

"The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America", wrote Vice President Pence on Twitter this morning.

The Pentagon report included interim steps including creating a unified combatant command, known as the US Space Command, by the end of 2018, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.

Like the other branches of the military, which oversee the domains of air, ground and sea, a Space Force would oversee the potential battlefield of space, but not like fighting aliens in sci-fi movies.

"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.

The White House has officially laid the groundwork for Space Force, the Trump administration's efforts to expand the USA armed forces into outer space. Writing to Sen. John McCain a year ago, Mattis said that he opposed the creation of "additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions".

BRUMFIEL: China has also tested anti-satellite weapons.

Citing Russia and China, he said that for years US adversaries have "pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communication satellites via electronic attacks from the ground".

"Both nations are also investing heavily in what are known as hypersonic missiles created to fly up to 5 miles per second at such low altitudes that they could potentially evade detection by our missile defense radars", Pence said.

The proposal taps into the American public's long fascination with space - but with a military focus. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength", he added.

"Good Morning, Space Forces!" the tweet reads, followed by the image and a link to the Russian Space Forces website.

The vast U.S. military divides the globe into various commands, such as Central Command in the Middle East or Indo-Pacific Command in Asia, and so a new Space Command would be on an equal footing with these. Thursday's plan, which requires authorization and funding from Congress, would develop forces to defend satellites from attack and other space-related tasks.

However, Mattis has now endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space war fighting forces and create a new command, the AP reports.

The biggest obstacle to the creation of a Space Force is Congress, as the establishment of a new branch of the U.S. military requires congressional approval.

Mr. Trump officially directed the Department of Defense to establish a sixth branch of the USA military in space back in June, saying the space force would ensure American dominance in the final frontier.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has also seemed apprehensive about the idea. Military leaders and experts have questioned the wisdom of launching an expensive, bureaucratic new service branch.

Ultimately, Congress must establish the new department, the vice president said. Further balkanization of the armed forces will only delay getting to where the Nation needs to be with respect to the security challenges of space.

Like this: