Pence lays out plans for Trump's "Space Force"


In a speech at the Pentagon, the vice president also announced plans to establish a new combatant command - U.S. Space Command - as well as a Space Operations Force and a new joint organization called the Space Development Agency.

The email came as Vice President Mike Pence appeared at the Pentagon to hail the proposed Space Force.

"Good Morning, Space Forces!" the tweet reads, followed by the image and a link to the Russian Space Forces website.

Pence said the Pentagon would also "create the governance, services, and support functions of the Space Force", which would involve creating a legislative proposal for Congress. Congressional support will be needed to complete this mission, according to CNN.

Mr. Trump officially directed the Department of Defense to establish a sixth branch of the US military in space back in June, saying the space force would ensure American dominance in the final frontier.

Its creation however is not a done deal, as it needs to be approved by Congress, and the concept has met with some skepticism from lawmakers and defense officials wary of the cost and added bureaucracy. "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".

But unlike another one of the president's highly publicized, seemingly improvisational ideas - the see-through, solar-paneled border wall - the Space Force moved a step closer to becoming a real thing this week.

"The space force is the next and natural evolution of American military strength", Pence said.

"For many years, nations from Russian Federation and China to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communications satellites via electronic attacks from the ground", Pence said.

Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence and other services vital to the military and the economy.

Given the stakes surrounding building a new military branch, the issue is likely to be a political football.

Establish a Space Command, a new unified combat and command structure for space. Space Force supporters say that Air Force leaders are simply protecting their bureaucratic and budgetary turf while remaining focused on conventional air superiority. It is a process we're in. But Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said Thursday that Space Force "won't happen" and was moving forward only "because no [Republican] is willing to tell POTUS it's a dumb idea".

"There is a threat out there but it's being handled by the US Air Force today". This group would be the core of an eventual Space Force, to be created as a separate military service.

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