'Time has come' to create US Space Force, sixth military branch: Pence

'Time has come' to create US Space Force, sixth military branch: Pence

The U.S. military now has 77 satellites in orbit that could be vulnerable to potential attack from adversaries like Russian Federation and China that have taken aggressive postures in space.

Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.

In a speech at the Pentagon, Pence the new Space Force would be established by 2020.

Trump's Space Force has stirred plenty of controversy and debate since the President first publicly entertained the idea during a speech in March 2018, when he told USA service members that his "new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea".

United States defence secretary James Mattis has previously been against establishing a new military branch specifically for space.

"Our adversaries have transformed same into a war fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge".

As a Hugo-winning scifi writer, I feel qualified to say: The United States needs quality health care for its people far more than it needs a "Space Force".

"The U.S. military is big in space, but it's all unmanned satellites", Brumfiel reports.

A new Space Operations Force will train, promote, and retain personnel to include engineers, scientists, intelligence experts, operators, strategists, and others.

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"Recently, our advisories have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself".

For the Air Force, the realignment could mean surrendering control of existing space assets, satellites, launch sites and other ground operations to the new command. The Space Force would initially be led by a civilian who would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, Pence said.

He also said Russian Federation and China were developing weapons, such as hypersonic missiles, to launch attacks from space here on Earth.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mattis said he was in support of the creation of a separate combatant command for space, adding that his department was in "complete alignment with the president's concerns about protecting our assets in space".

But if you have visions of joining the military - now or under a future Space Force - and strapping on a jet pack, NPR's Geoff Brumfiel is here to crush your dreams.

Critics view the creation of a Space Force as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor and scoff at comparisons to the establishment of the Air Force in 1947. "Next February in the president's budget, we will call on the Congress to marshal the resources we need to stand up".

The Trump administration aims to have the Space Force up and running by 2020, Pence said.

When president John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in 1962 explaining why America was sending men to the Moon, he famously said, "There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet". "But history proves that peace only comes through strength", he added.

Hawaii senator Brian Schatz branded the Space Force a "silly but risky idea" as he instead urged the expansion of the "Medicaid" health programme.

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