Pence launches Space Force, says United States needs to prepare for 'next battlefield'

Casey GreeneAug 10, 2018

Most of the satellites are operated by the Air Force, which is likely to see a decrease in responsibilities after the proposed reorganization.

Trump has championed the idea, and cries of "Space Force" have become common at his rallies.

Mr Trump - who tweeted "Space Force all the way!" on Thursday - and his supporters point to how adversaries such as China and Russian Federation are increasingly deploying satellites as proof that action is needed. The second phase requires Congress to combine these components into the sixth branch of the armed forces.

Congress would have to approve a new military service, and lawmakers have been divided on the idea.

"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial", Pence said, referring to space.

"I would assume it's billions", he said. "We're still putting it together".

Critics, even those who agree with the strategic significance of space, argue that creating a Space Force is "an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor", as Reuters put it.

"We need to address space as a developing, war-fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can establish", he said.

"This is a critical step toward's establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of our armed forces". The sky is teeming with spy satellites and other platforms that support government surveillance, communications, weather forecasting and other activities.

"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", Pence announced in the Pentagon auditorium filled with more than 350 service members and civilians. Senior Pentagon officials opposed the measure, and the plan was shelved. This force will draw from across the military to provide space expertise in times of crisis and conflict, Pence said. This will be an "elite group of joint war fighters specializing in the domain of space", and it will draw its ranks from men and women from across the military, according to Pence.

Military officials are concerned about threats posed by China and Russian Federation in particular.

In 2007, China launched a missile that tracked and destroyed one of its own satellites, the vice president said. The Pentagon now has more than 100 satellites in total, including 31 Global Positioning System satellites that much of the world depends on.

To provide context, Nasa is a civilian branch of government whereas the Space Force will be a branch of the USA military.

Last year, he said in a memo to Sen.

"We must have American dominance in space. So now, we have to adjust and make sure that we can defend what we do in space and deter anyone from challenging us there".

The Pentagon report said that the military should be "prepared to deploy teams of space experts to the U.S. European Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command no later than summer of 2019".

They said the Pentagon report was the start of a "multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America".

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