U.S. to Launch Space Force in 2020, Pence Says

Friday, 10 Aug, 2018

In a joint appearance at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence laid out the Trump administration's plan to create a U.S. Space Force.

"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", Pence announced in the Pentagon auditorium filled with more than 350 service members and civilians.

Trump's campaign sent an email Thursday to subscribers. asking them to weigh in on new artwork for the would-be 6th branch of the military. but there's a capitalist twist.

"The U.S. military is big in space, but it's all unmanned satellites", Brumfiel reports.

Space warfare capabilities are now overseen by the US Air Force.

The initiative will also include the creation of the Space Development Agency, which will help to establish these organizations and a Space Operations Force, which will assemble space "warfighters" and personnel.

The Pentagon report recommended that for now the unified command be in the hands of the Air Force, which currently oversees some of the most critical space-based capabilities.

Even before Trump's comments, the Defense Department was under orders to formulate a "concept of operations" document for space war fighting. It notes that "presidential leadership and congressional support have set the environment for dramatic improvement of our national space capabilities".

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Meanwhile, others have argued that it makes sense to form a separate military branch specifically for space.

However, before it gets off the ground - Space Force still needs Congress to pass new legislation.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves to guests after speaking during the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 31, 2018.

On June 18, Trump showed that he was serious about the Space Force by formally directing the Pentagon to create the new military branch. That's a big statement. "As a way to celebrate President Trump's huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear". "We are in compete agreement, the vice president is the point man for the president on this, we are working closely, daily with his office and with supporters on Capitol Hill and the relevant committees", he said.

At an event for Marines, Trump said "I was saying it the other day - 'cause we're doing a tremendous amount of work in space - I said, maybe we need a new force".

But if you have visions of joining the military - now or under a future Space Force - and strapping on a jet pack, NPR's Geoff Brumfiel is here to crush your dreams.

Shortly after Pence's speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!" "In fact, China claimed to have made its first successful test of a hypersonic vehicle just last week". "Our adversaries already have transformed space into a war fighting domain and the United States will not shrink from this challenge". "But history proves that peace only comes through strength". It leaves no doubt that the Pentagon is on board with the Space Force plan despite earlier reservations.