Pence launches Space Force, says US needs to prepare for 'next battlefield'
12 August, 2018, 21:59
It's official: The Trump administration says it will create a sixth branch of the USA military known as the " Space Force" by 2020. "Our adversaries have transformed space into a war-fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge", Pence said.
Ultimately, though, the decision to establish the Space Force will fall on the shoulders of Congress, which will have to approve the creation of a new branch of the military as well sign off on the funding.
But Pence said an independent Space Force was essential to counter Russian Federation and China, which are "aggressively" working toward anti-satellite capabilities. After the president declared in June his bold plans to create a sixth branch of the military, Bloomberg Businessweek asked eight renowned graphic designers to come up with their own logos for Space Force.
It's no longer a new domain, it's a domain and we've got to be able to compete, to deter and to win.
The current branches of the U.S. military are the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force.
The logos are styled like the mission patches created for space launches.
SHAPIRO: As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, not everyone agrees that a Space Force is the future. And Russia is working on an airborne laser to disrupt space-based systems, he added.
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The administration is expected to outline a budget for the Space Force along with Congress next year.
Moments after Pence spoke, Trump expressed his support for the proposal with a tweet reading simply, "Space Force all the way!".
The formerNASA astronaut Mark Kelly said on Thursday of a Space Force: "The only person that I've heard say this is a fantastic idea is the commander in chief, the president of the United States".
The report also called for the creation of a Space Operations Force, which it said will be comprised of career space experts who are "trained, promoted and retained as space war fighting professionals". "Space is an environment that we're supposed to work together peacefully in".
He revealed in his speech the new space arm of the military would not be built entirely from scratch, but derive from pre-existing facets. This came after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis voiced skepticism on the need for a separate Space Force.
The separate military department will bolster United States defences and the plan is for it to be operational by 2020.
Joan Johnson-Freese, a space security expert at the Naval War College, told Brumfiel that she doesn't think a Space Force is now necessary. This force will draw from across the military to provide space expertise in times of crisis and conflict, Pence said.
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