Trump Orders Creation of 'Space Force'

According to CNBC, the Commander-in-Chief was speaking with reporters at the White House Monday morning when he unveiled the proposal, saying "our destiny beyond the earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security".

But while Dunford nodded his assent, both the Air Force and the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, have signaled their disapproval for moving military spaceflight activities out of the Air Force and into a new branch of government. The new branch would be "separate but equal" from the Air Force, which now oversees all space related activity in the armed services.

When implemented, the Space Force will be the newest addition to the United States military in over 70 years, when the Air Force was added as an official branch directly after the Second World War. It also would require the Secretary of the Air Force to increase the number and improve the quality of its civilian and military "space cadre", submitting a report to Congress on its plans by next March.

While Trump did not mention weapons, the planned space force would be a branch of the military, but the U.S. is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial objects for peaceful purposes.

However, the creation of a new branch of the military can not happen from one day to the next, as Congress would have to pass a law authorizing it first.

"The president told a United States general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don't want", Nelson wrote on Twitter shortly thereafter.

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In his remarks at Cape Canaveral, Trump said the new force would be "separate, but equal" from the other military branches.

Pace said changes are "not going to happen overnight".

Among the other issues the president is unlikely to have considered is just how the NRO, an intelligence organization that works very closely with the Air Force, will work with the new service. The Air Force today oversees about 90 percent of the military's space funding, programs and personnel.

The announcement also put to rest any questions about where the Trump Administration would move policy around space exploration. Conceivably the 2019 NDAA that is now going through the legislative cycle could create the Space Force, Loverro said, although Congress would have to give the Defense Department at least one or two years to execute such a large reorganization. Now, Guardians of the Galaxy fans are suiting up to take aim at the new Space Force.

Trump more broadly envisioned a bright future for the USA space program, pledging to revive the country's flagging efforts, return to the moon and eventually send a human mission that would reach Mars. "I oppose 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 efforts", Mattis wrote in October. "And we are seriously thinking of the Space Force".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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