Space Force Is Here: Vice President Pence Announces Sixth Military Branch

Vice Pres. Mike Pence shakes hands with supporters kids at Monaco Air

The Defense Department has to "prepare for the next battlefield", said Pence.

But Pence was unequivocal in presenting the administration's wish for it to become a reality - preferably by 2020, the end of Trump's term in office.

President Donald Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

Pence's speech was timed to coincide with the release of the Pentagon's report to Congress on the recommended organization and management structure of space components for the Department of Defense.

"There is a threat out there", he added, "but it's being handled by the U.S. Air Force today, doesn't make sense to build a whole other level of bureaucracy in an [already] incredibly bureaucratic [Defense Department]", he added. "We must have American dominance in space".

While there is broad recognition of the necessity of protecting the USA military's assets in space - with satellites playing a central role in modern everyday life and military operations - there remains vigorous debate about the virtues of creating a separate military branch.

He says advances by China and Russian Federation have increased the need for the U.S.to elevate its space efforts.

As a Hugo-winning scifi writer, I feel qualified to say: The United States needs quality health care for its people far more than it needs a "Space Force".

It's going to take a lot more than a few grandiose speeches from Trump and Pence in order for the Space Force idea to come to fruition, though. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea". Let's hope that's the branch's new motto because it's pretty much flawless.

"This report is a step in a multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America", they said.


Sen. Bill Nelson is among the lawmakers opposed to the idea. "It's risky to have a leader who can not be talked out of insane ideas".

While speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, Pence argued it is the next and natural evolution of American military strength.

The report says the new command will "improve and evolve space warfighting", focusing on doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures.

It would require a new headquarters and major organisational changes.

Opinions on the Space Force in Congress have been divided.

But just previous year, Mattis voiced skepticism on the need to create a separate Space Force.

Earlier this week, Mattis signaled his support for a new Space Command to take place alongside existing commands, but demurred when asked about the creation of a separate service entirely, saying it was a matter for Congress to decide.

"In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands 'at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, '" Pence said.

"Our adversaries already have transformed space into a war fighting domain and the United States will not shrink from this challenge".

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