DoD To Stand Up Space Force As Independent Military Branch By 2020, Vice President Says
The Trump administration plans to establish a Department of the Space Force – a sixth independent branch of the U.S. military – by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
“To be clear, the Space Force will not be built from scratch,” Pence said during a speech at the Pentagon. “The men and women who run and protect our nation’s space programs today are already the best in the world. 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.”
As Pence spoke, the Pentagon released a report to Congress about what steps the Defense Department and Congress need to take to stand up a Space Force, which the vice president called “the next and natural evolution of American military strength.”
The report, Pence said, recommends four actions: Establishing a unified combatant command for space operations led by four-star general or admiral; creating, “An elite group of joint warfighters specializing in the domain of space, who will form the backbone of the nation’s newest armed service;” standing up the Space Development Agency to develop new technologies; and naming a civilian leader who reports to the defense secretary, who will oversee the growth of Space Force.
“This position will be a new assistant secretary of defense for space and this leader will be key to the critical transition to a fully independent secretary of the Space Force in the years ahead,” Pence said.
Creating a new branch of the military will require Congress’ approval, so the Trump administration will work with lawmakers to include the statutory authority for Space Force in the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the vice president said. President Trump has also called on Congress to appropriate $8 billion for space security systems over the next …read more
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