Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

US Space Force launched at Pentagon as a separate armed service

US Space Force launched at Pentagon as a separate armed service

Envisaged as the sixth branch of the American military, the White House wants the Space Force to be created by 2020, the end of Donald Trump's term in office.

The creation of the U.S. Space Command.

Much of the military's current space power is wielded by the Air Force Space Command, which has its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Space Operations Force will "train, promote, and retain personnel to include engineers, scientists, intelligence experts, operators, strategists, and others", reported ABC. The report calls for the creation of Space Command, Department of Space Force, an elite Space Operations Force, and an agency that will field weapons for the new Space Force.

Brian Weeden, a former Air Force officer who worked in space operations, tells Brumfiel that he agrees there are potential threats in space. It notes that "presidential leadership and congressional support have set the environment for dramatic improvement of our national space capabilities". "Until we have those same needs in space, the Air Force and the other services are doing all the things we need to do".

The Defense Department is already active in space, of course, with the Air Force in charge.

The military's role in space has been under scrutiny because the United States is increasingly reliant on orbiting satellites that are hard to protect. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I opposed the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions", he wrote in a letter to Republican Sen. Only Congress has the authority to establish a new branch of the military-something that hasn't happened since the U.S. Air Force was founded in 1947.

In June, President Donald Trump "directed the Department of Defence to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces", Pence said in a speech at the Pentagon. That's a big statement.

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The vast USA military divides the globe into various commands, such as Central Command in the Middle East or Indo-Pacific Command in Asia, and so a new Space Command would be on an equal footing with these.

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

He says advances by China and Russian Federation have increased the need for the U.S.to elevate its space efforts. It already contains a Space Command, which it established in 1982.

Pence said the initial request from Congress would be for 8 billion dollars over five years to be included in the defense spending budget for the fiscal year 2020.

"In fact, China claimed to make its first successful test of a hypersonic vehicle just last week".

Mr Trump "knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity and is a vital domain for national defence" while, under his direction, the USA is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said.

"Peace only comes through strength", Pence said.

But he, too, isn't convinced that a Space Force is the answer.

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