Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Pence outlines plan for new Space Force by 2020

Published:Thursday | August 9, 2018 | 3:37 PM
Vice President Mike Pence gestures during an event on the creation of a U. S. Space Force, Thursday, August 9, 2018, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with growing competition and threats from Russia and China, the White House on Thursday said it will create the U.S. Space Force as a sixth, separate military service by 2020.

Vice President Mike Pence told a Pentagon audience that the plan fulfills President Donald Trump’s vow to ensure America’s dominance in space — a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested that has now become crowded and adversarial.

“Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation,” said Pence.

“The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”

Trump marked Pence’s announcement with a tweet: “Space Force all the way!”

Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force, a complicated and expensive move that requires congressional approval.

On Thursday, Pence said that the administration will work with Congress on the plan, and will outline a budget next year.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganise the military’s space war fighting forces and create a new command but has previously opposed launching a pricey, new service.

A new branch of the military would require layers of bureaucracy, military and civilian leaders, uniforms, equipment and an expansive support structure.

The Pentagon proposal delivered to Congress Thursday lays out plans to consolidate the Pentagon’s war fighting space forces and make organisational changes to boost the acquisition and development of leading-edge technologies.

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