'Time has come' to create US Space Force, sixth military branch: Pence

09 August, 2018, 23:17 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Pence Will Reveal Trump's'Space Force Plan Today Watch It Live

"At a time when we are trying to integrate the department's joint war-fighting functions, I do not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations", Mr. Mattis wrote previous year.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis had also disapproved of the idea in the past, saying a year ago he opposed creating additional bureaucracy at the Pentagon. Air Force officials and national security experts have spoken out against the creation of a separate Space Force. The Department will build a legislative proposal for congressional consideration as a part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget cycle.

He did, however, say the Pentagon was in "complete agreement" with the White House. The US Space Force will become the sixth arm.

Under the plan, the Pentagon will recruit a civilian Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, and set up an office to develop tech and buy satellites to help the U.S. in space combat.

Pence told a Pentagon audience that the plan fulfils U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to ensure America's dominance in space.

The Department of Defense is expected to release a report later today "outlining the first stages of our administration's plan to implement the president's guidance and turn his vision into a reality", Pence said. The new branch would need to compete for money with other big, politically protected Defense Department priorities that Congress already funds.

On Thursday, Mattis said "space is one of our vital national interests" and is "no longer a new domain".

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Trump, in an act of support, took to his favourite social medium to tweet the five words 'Space Force all the way!', causing a number of people to question his thought process.

In a joint statement, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), respectively chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces said, "We have been warning for years of the need to protect our space assets and to develop more capable space systems".

When the idea of creating a space corps within the Air Force was brought before Congress in 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis rejected the idea as a superfluous "additional organizational and administrative tail" on the military.

Pence discussed actions China and Russian Federation have taken to militarize the space domain, and how Space Force will meet those challenge.

He said the countries "have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to manoeuvre their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems". In 2007, China fired a missile to destroy an aged weather satellite, demonstrating in a dramatic fashion its ability to deploy anti-satellite weapons. "Both nations are also investing heavily in hypersonic missiles that are created to fly up to 5 miles per second and at such low altitudes that they could evade detection by our missile-defense radars".

"Initially the Department will recommend that the Air Force Space Command commander be dual-hatted as commander of the unified command", the report said. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength", he added.

Star Wars fan and comedy writer Brian Santa Maria is hoping that camping out for Star Wars: Episode I tickets back in 1999 will now qualify him for a Space Force GI Bill.

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