Pence: Space Force Will Be Independent Service by 2020, Include Elite Operators

Howard TerryAug 10, 2018

"This is a critical step toward's establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of our armed forces".

"The U.S. Space Force will strengthen security, ensure our prosperity and it will also carry American ideals into the boundless expanse of space", Pence said on Thursday.

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

Even before Trump's comments, the Defense Department was under orders to formulate a "concept of operations" document for space war fighting.

Deborah James, who served as Air Force secretary for the final three years of the Obama administration, estimated it would be five to 10 years before a separate service would be fully formed.

"Just as we've done in ages past, the United States meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield", he said.

Trump celebrated the announcement from his golf club in New Jersey, tweeting, "Space Force all the way!".

On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon chief said he fully supported the idea of creating a new US Space Command.

The report says the new command will "improve and evolve space warfighting", focusing on doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. That will be joined by a Space Development Agency that, by becoming part of the defense bureaucracy, is meant to be an antidote to bureaucracy and enable new thinking.

Pence acknowledged that creating a new branch "is not simple process".

The speech coincided with the completion of a Pentagon report that provides a greater sense of how the space force would be structured and fit in with the existing Defense bureaucracy.

Unofficial NASA news coverage site NASA Watch gave us three options for future Space Force uniforms: Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Star Trek. "We are going to have the Space Force", he said during a meeting of the National Space Council.

"Both China and Russian Federation have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems", Pence said.

"Our nation's armed forces have always been the vanguard of advancing American leadership here on Earth and beyond", Pence said. He said Beijing and Moscow have been developing missiles, lasers and other technologies with the aim of targeting USA satellites.

China and Russian Federation have had significant achievements in space - they have tested technology to shoot down satellites.

"Our adversaries have transformed space into a war-fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge", Pence said.

Social media users have been quick to mock the idea of a new military branch.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week that Pence is Trump's "point man" for Space Force, and Pentagon officials are working closely with his office.

Standing in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Vice President Pence‬ delivers remarks before convening the first meeting of the reestablished National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., last year.

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