Vice-President Mike Pence announced plans Thursday for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as a 6th military service by 2020 to ensure America's dominance in space amid heightened completion and threats from China and Russian Federation.
The vice president came to the Pentagon to release a report that Congress ordered in last year's defense policy bill laying out options to create a separate service for space.
Pence noted the administration is already working with Congress and the president will be requesting resources for the Space Force in February's budget. "The Space Force will accelerate and unify the Department's space efforts and enable the delivery of next-generation space capabilities faster than potential adversaries can evolve", the Pentagon says in its report. The secretary will oversee a unified combat command that will coordinate activities and establish combat doctrines for space. One of the arguments stretched logic a little, as Pence cited the threat of hypersonic missiles, which pose a risk because they don't enter space and therefore can't be targeted for antimissile interception there. In the second phase the Pentagon would combine all the components into the new sixth branch of service.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, in a Pentagon address, described the creation of the Space Force as "an idea whose time has come".
Pence said that the Space Force would not be created from scratch, but rather re-organize existing space programs and personnel.
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"Russia has been designing an airborne laser to disrupt our space based system and it claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid flight to destroy American satellites". Initially an assistant secretary of defense for space, this position will be "key to the critical transition to a fully indecent Secretary of the Space Force in the years ahead", said Pence.
He says advances by China and Russian Federation have increased the need for the U.S.to elevate its space efforts. The US Space Force will become the sixth arm.
A better idea would be elevating an organization within the Air Force to deal with space, Thompson said. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he opposed "the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions".
"Our adversaries have transformed same into a war fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge".
Mattis had previously opposed the creation of a separate military branch focused on space, writing to Rep. Mike Turner of OH in July of 2017 that he did "not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations".