Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Donald Trump sets goal to create US military Space Force by 2020

Donald Trump sets goal to create US military Space Force by 2020

It wasn't immediately clear whether the new force would be a component of the Air Force, as the Marine Corps is to the Navy. Only Congress has the authority to establish a new branch of the military-something that hasn't happened since the U.S. Air Force was founded in 1947.

On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called Pence "the point man" on issues pertaining to the United States military and space.

A Space Force, he added, "will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield with American ingenuity and strength to defend our nation, protect our people and carry the cause of liberty and peace into the next great American frontier".

Needless to say, the idea of having "space warriors", as the Department of Defense so nerdishly calls them, has Twitter exploding with memes and hilarious tweets. Air Force officials and national security experts have spoken out against the creation of a separate Space Force.

Mike Pence announced that Space Force, the so-dubbed sixth branch of the military, would be ready by 2020. The change, which would require approval from Congress, would be a dramatic change in the organization of the Defense Department.

"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial, today other nations are seeking to disrupt our space based systems and challenge American supremacy in space", Pence said.

He says advances by China and Russian Federation have increased the need for the U.S.to elevate its space efforts.

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Any plan by the White House to create a new military service would need congressional action. "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".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - who had earlier opposed the idea - had issued a preliminary report calling for the creation of an assistant secretary of defense for space, establishment of a special operations force that would be trained for space combat and formation of the Space Development Agency that would focus on innovation and new technologies.

The Pentagon sent a report to Congress on Tuesday detailing steps towards meeting Trump's order. "The Space Force will not be built from scratch", Pence said in a speech that he gave to members of the Pentagon.

In March this year, Mr Trump's National Space Strategy was said to recognise U.S. "competitors and adversaries have turned space into a warfighting domain".

"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", the Fox News host said.

"Recently our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself", Pence said.

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