Mike Pence calls for creation of space force by 2020

Vice President Pence described the White House's plans for a Space Force, a sixth branch of the US military that would be responsible for operations in outer space, in a speech on Thursday.

"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", Pence said at the Pentagon.

The Space Force will be a separate military branch that requires congressional approval.

As he said, the preparations are now under way to build this sixth army space force, along with the US Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force and the Coast Guard.

The plan includes the formation of a new "space force" as the country's sixth service branch as early as 2020 in response to threats posed by potential adversaries, Pence said in his speech Thursday at the Pentagon. However, the creation of the new military body will have to be approved by Congress, with Pence stressing that the process will move forward with the aim of building the sixth body by 2020.

The report says the new command will "improve and evolve space warfighting", focusing on doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. "The only person you hear promoting this is the president, so it'd be nice to get a little more of a buy-in from the experts and it doesn't seem like we have that".

Trump marked Pence's announcement with a tweet: "Space Force all the way!"

"The space force is the next and natural evolution of American military strength", Pence said. Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence and other services vital to the military and the national economy.

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Finally, the Pentagon would also establish a US Space Command to be led by a four-star general or flag officer, he said.

Create a new position - assistant secretary of defense for space - that will help oversee the Space Force transition.

There's a great deal of skepticism surrounding President Donald Trump's desire for a Space Force, with many in Washington questioning whether it's necessary and would be worth the cost and additional bureaucracy.

The DOD report also details several priorities that emphasize operating with "unfettered access" in space, supplying joint support to combatant commands, quickly developing and scaling capabilities and consolidating existing authorities for DOD space activities to eliminate inefficiencies. Absolutely. Do we need to have more robust thinking about space as a military and commercial domain? The Air Force, after all, is run by pilots, not astronauts.

Pence now serves as chair for the president's revitalized National Space Council.

"Creating a separate service will just add to dysfunction at the Defense Department", he said.

WEEDEN: I don't quite think the Space Force is the answer.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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