Published: Thu, August 09, 2018

Space Force plans blasted with Twitter Star Wars snark

Space Force plans blasted with Twitter Star Wars snark

"In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands 'at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, '" Pence said.

"The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America", he said, adding that Congress must now act to establish and fund the department. "But as Nazi air forces bombed their way from Warsaw to London, our military commanders took decisive action then to meet that new threat head on", he said.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has said such a move would "rip the Air Force apart". The Air Force in particular might lose key responsibilities. The proposal would also need Congressional approval.

"There's not a mission today that we do in the military that doesn't in some way depend upon space", Air Force Sec.

Under the plan, the Pentagon will recruit a civilian Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, and set up an office to develop tech and buy satellites to help the USA in space combat.

The Trump administration believes the Space Force will allow it to accomplish that goal, and the nation now has at least the beginnings of a plan to bring its fifth military branch to fruition. The White House intends to work with lawmakers in submitting legislation by early next year, a senior administration official said, with the hopes of standing up the department as early as 2020.

Pence announced that the Defense Department will be releasing a report outlining the first stages to "implement the president's guidance and turn his vision into a reality".

Since then, the White House has continued to press forward for a Space Force, giving the issue momentum and the weight of the executive branch.

The new command and reorganisation "should be budget neutral", Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the National Space Council, said in an interview. The Air Force now oversees some of the most critical space-based capabilities.

The report also calls for an acquisition-focused Space Development Agency.

The defense chief's recent remarks represent a clear change of heart from just a year ago, when Mr. Mattis in a letter to Congress expressed doubt about the wisdom of a separate military branch to fight in space.

The proposed sixth branch of the US military will "confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space" according to Pence.

Thursday's announcement coincided with a report detailed by the Pentagon on how the newest branch of the U.S. military is set to work.

He said the countries "have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to manoeuvre their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems".

While there is broad recognition of the necessity of protecting the US 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.

Russian and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States' assets in space.

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