Space Force Is Here: Vice President Pence Announces Sixth Military Branch


The Trump Administration outlined a plan to make a "Space Force" the sixth branch of the USA military Thursday, but there are still significant hurdles before it could become a reality.

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

A Space Force, he added, "will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield with American ingenuity and strength to defend our nation, protect our people and carry the cause of liberty and peace into the next great American frontier".

Trump is obviously a fan of the new branch, tweeting "Space Force all the way!" as Pence spoke. Air Force officials and national security experts have spoken out against the creation of a separate Space Force.

"As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from this challenge", he said.

He also said Russian Federation and China were developing weapons, such as hypersonic missiles, to launch attacks from space here on Earth. The White House Gift Shop is already taking pre-orders for Space Force commemorative coins. He also says that the current system, with the Air Force in charge of military space operations, is not ideal.

What's changed since then is that Trump has become increasingly focused on the subject and concluded that a new military branch is needed.

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Deborah James, who served as Air Force secretary for the final three years of the Obama administration, estimated it would be five to 10 years before a separate service would be fully formed.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis had also disapproved of the idea in the past, saying a year ago he opposed creating additional bureaucracy at the Pentagon. "It's unsafe to have a leader who can not be talked out of insane ideas".

During a speech in June, Trump directed the Pentagon "to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces".

Mike Rogers, a Republican from Alabama, said lawmakers were "warning for years about the threats to our space assets and the unacceptably slow pace to develop more capable space systems".

Key among these is the creation of US Space Command, a new organizational body that would draw in members of existing military branches.

According to the vice-president, Russian Federation is developing airborne lasers "to disrupt our space-based systems" while China has the capability to destroy satellites with missiles.

Pence argued that the United States did not start this arms race. "However, going forward there probably will need to be an increase in resources to buy improved capabilities and more warfighters as the Space Force matures".