'Time has come' to create US Space Force, sixth military branch: Pence

April FrancisAug 10, 2018

United States Vice President Mike Pence has announced the country will create its own "Space Force".

The creation of a role called the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space.

The Pentagon report included interim steps including creating a unified combatant command, known as the U.S. Space Command, by the end of 2018, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters. While Scharre agreed that "space is the American Achilles heel", he said creating a new bureaucracy with a single focus would handicap the military: "The United States needs to focus on the mission, not the domain".

"In 2007, China launched a missile which tracked and destroyed one of its own satellites, a highly provocative demonstration of China's growing capability to militarise space".

He said that the report "identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new Department of the Space Force".

He added the "Space Force" was an idea "whose time has come".

USA defence secretary James Mattis has previously been against establishing a new military branch specifically for space.

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

It's a venture that had an excited President Trump tweeting: "Space Force all the way!". "We are in compete agreement, the vice president is the point man for the president on this, we are working closely, daily with his office and with supporters on Capitol Hill and the relevant committees", he said. And he said that "we are going to have the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force - separate but equal".

Without any new legislation and using existing authorities, DoD will establish several of the component parts of the Space Force.

Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.

"I think we need to have a longer discussion on this". Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence and other services vital to the military and the economy. In the second phase the Pentagon would combine all the components into the new sixth branch of service. "But we can do this within the U.S. Air Force".

One of the key functions of the new branch would be to aid U.S. forces on the ground and the air force, giving them combat superiority.

Standing in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Vice President Pence‬ delivers remarks before convening the first meeting of the reestablished National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., last year.

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