Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Pence: Space Force military branch to be established by 2020

Pence: Space Force military branch to be established by 2020

Pence says it's needed to ensure America's dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russian Federation.

"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial", Pence said, adding that space had already become a "war fighting domain".

Much of the push to formalize an off-planet branch of the USA armed forces is motivated by space investment by Russian Federation and China.

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.

However, before it gets off the ground - Space Force still needs Congress to pass new legislation.

"By 1945, the American military had almost 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier", he said.

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The Pentagon report recommended that for now the unified command be in the hands of the Air Force, which currently oversees some of the most critical space-based capabilities.

The Space Operations Force will "train, promote, and retain personnel to include engineers, scientists, intelligence experts, operators, strategists, and others", reported ABC.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command already handles the country's security and surveillance in space. "This report reviews the national security space activities within the Department of Defense, and it identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new department of the Space Force". "In fact, China claimed to have made its first successful test of a hypersonic vehicle just last week".

Critics view the creation of a Space Force as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor and scoff at comparisons to the establishment of the Air Force in 1947.

The White House says that the Space Force will be created by 2020.

Ultimately, Congress must establish the new department, the vice president said.

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week that Pence is Trump's "point man" for Space Force, and Pentagon officials are working closely with his office.

The Pentagon's existing military branches are: the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. In 2007, China destroyed one of its dead weather satellites with a missile.

"Creating a new branch of the military is not a simple process".

"Our nation's armed forces have always been the vanguard of advancing American leadership here on Earth and beyond", Pence 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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