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13 August 2018, 02:39 | Tara Lloyd
Kat Wade Getty Images North America
In June, President Trump called for the creation of an additional branch of the military, saying, "When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space.
Pence said the force "will not be built from scratch", but will tap existing space program personnel. But he didn't specifically advocate a Space Force.
An establishment of a new military branch would require Congressional legislation, but the President says he is willing to work with Congress on establishing the force.
Their remarks were timed to coincide with the release of a Pentagon report outlining the steps needed to create a Space Force, something it does not have the power to do on its own.
"It is time to write the next chapter in the history of our armed forces to prepare for the next battlefield where the best and courageous Americans will be called upon to prevent and defeat a new wave of threats against our people and our nation "Pence said in a speech to the military at the Pentagon".
"I don't think it's necessary", former astronaut Scott Kelly told CNN Thursday.
The Space Force will include a new full-combatant command dubbed the U.S. Space Command, which will focus on warfighting, doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as a Space Operations Force staffed with space-warfighting experts from across the military that will support the other commands.
"America will always seek peace in space, as on the Earth".
"Our administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by the year 2020", Pence added.
Some Republican lawmakers expressed support for the project, but many Democrats derided the idea as a money pit that would jeopardize other priorities. Further balkanization of the armed forces will only delay getting to where the Nation needs to be with respect to the security challenges of space.
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Currently, the Air Force oversees most space capabilities and there is some push back from officials who worry the Space Force s mission would be duplicative and create turf wars.
In the meantime, the Space Command would be led by a four-star general, and Pence said a new high-level civilian post - assistant defence secretary for space - would also be created.
While Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rejected the idea of creating a Space Force within the Air Force in 2017, it seems he's changed course, but stopped short of promising a new branch. Space Command's main role would be to prepare for conflict in space and to lead US space forces should such a war begin.
"We in the House have been warning for years about the threats to our space assets and the unacceptably slow pace to develop more capable space systems", Rogers tweeted.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday delivered a speech at the Pentagon outlining the administration's plan to move forward with the Space Force, which including instructions for the Department of Defense to draft a legislative proposal for Congress.
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