Mike Pence outlines plan for new US Space Force by 2020

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence announced the new force during a Pentagon speech, fleshing out an idea that President Donald Trump has extolled in recent months as he vowed to ensure American dominance in space.

"The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America", he said, adding that Congress must now act to establish and fund the department.

Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said Space Force "won t happen". Congressional support will be needed to complete this mission, according to CNN.

Pence reiterated President Trump's calls for American dominance in space in the face of threats to satellites and other areas from foreign adversaries such as China and Russian Federation.

Congress will have the final say in the creation of the Space Force, but it's too early to speculate on its political viability.

"I don't think it's necessary", former astronaut Scott Kelly told CNN Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday outlined the Trump administration's plan for establishing a "Space Force", an entirely new military branch that would defend USA assets in space. "The only person you hear promoting this is the president, so it'd be nice to get a little more of a buy-in from the experts and it doesn't seem like we have that". In May, Trump was instructed to set up a space force that would be independent of the aviation force.

Pence said the White House already has been working with Congress to develop the plan.

However, Mattis has now endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space war fighting forces and create a new command, the AP reports. Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence and other services vital to the military and the national economy.

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The U.S. Space Force would also require members from the Department of Defense and a Space Development Agency to streamline the process of acquiring military space equipment. "We are glad that the Pentagon is finally taking these steps in enhancing our space strength".

On Tuesday, however, Mattis expressed full support for creating a new US Space Command.

The new branch will have a separate command by the end of the year. Rep. Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican, and Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee, said in a joint statement that they had been warning for years about the need to beef up military capabilities in space.

The Trump campaign has proven itself skillful at merchandising, with their red baseball cap emblazoned with the campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" becoming one of the most omnipresent symbols of the 2016 USA presidential campaign. That includes everything from satellites enabling the Global Positioning System to sensors that help track missile launches.

That said, Congress doesn't appear to share Trump's and Pence's enthusiasm for a Space Force.

"There is a threat out there but it's being handled by the US Air Force today".

"Creating a separate service will just add to dysfunction at the Defense Department", he said.

When Trump announced in June that he was calling on the Pentagon to create the Space Force, it reportedly caught many military officials by surprise.

  • Sonia Alvarado