United States military to create ‘Space Force’ by 2020

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In a speech Thursday, the vice-president, Mike Pence, outlined plans to create Space Force, billed as a brand new branch of the United States military dedicated to fighting wars in space.

The time has come for Space Force, Vice President Pence told an audience at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Whether the United States is really "going to have the Space Force" has yet to be determined, because only Congress has the authority to establish a new branch of the military.

Vice President Mike Pence presented the plan for Space Force, the newly proposed space-based branch of the military, at the Pentagon on Thursday and Stephen Colbert had a jab about his selection for the job.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

The Space Force would be the first new branch since 1947, when the Air Force was established as its own branch.

The Congressionally-mandated report laid out the changes the Pentagon can make without Congressional approval to implement the president's order to create the Space Force as a sixth branch of the military.

Responding to a Pool reporter, he said: "We need to address space as a war fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can establish". Instead, the four-step plan calls for consolidating and beefing up satellite defense operations that are already being done under the aegis of the U.S. Air Force and other government entities.

He said: "The Space Force will not be built from scratch".

The force is a response to reports that China and Russian Federation may be assembling weaponry to dismantle United States satellites in future wars.

Pence said funding for the new military branch will be requested in the fiscal year 2020 defense budget.

Mr. Trump, however fully endorsed Pence's speech, tweeting a resounding "Space Force all the way!" after the vice president's remarks.

Many retired military officials and some now in the Defense Department privately express reservations about the Space Force as a wholly separate branch of the military.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching a pricey, new service.

"This is a process we're in", Mattis noted.

WEEDEN: I don't quite think the Space Force is the answer. In March, Trump broached the idea of moving that responsibility to a new and separate military command.

"The space force is the next and natural evolution of American military strength", Pence said. "We are in complete alignment with the President's concern about protecting our assets in space to contribute to our security".