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Trump sets goal to create US military Space Force by 2020

Trump sets goal to create US military Space Force by 2020

Now such issues largely fall under the Air Force.

"Across this department and our intelligence agencies, there are literally tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians and contractors operating and supporting our space systems - and together, they are the eyes and ears of America's warfighters around the globe", Pence said.

The Pentagon is moving toward fulfilling President Donald Trump's request to establish a Space Force, in what would be the first new branch of the military in more than 70 years.

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space - we must have American dominance in space".

He also addressed key points in the Defense Department's upcoming report on on the matter, such as forming an elite group of fighters specialized to operate in the domain as well as a space command operation.

He did, however, say the Pentagon was in "complete agreement" with the White House.

USA defence secretary James Mattis has previously been against establishing a new military branch specifically for space. At that point, the subject of a service branch for space had already been the subject of hot debate within the military and Congress. Leaders of the Air Force, which now owns existing military operations regarding space, have argued that the service does not have the resources to support a separate space service. "However, going forward there probably will need to be an increase in resources to buy improved capabilities and more warfighters as the Space Force matures". A Department of the Space Force would likely have similar responsibilities to the other services, which is to train and equip their service members for military operations around the globe that are controlled by combatant commands.

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"America will always seek peace, in space as on earth", Pence said.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command already handles the country's security and surveillance in space. Space is vital to the way the United States wages war; The Pentagon's satellites are used for missile-defence warnings, guiding precision munitions, and providing communications and reconnaissance.

Despite no details, and no timetable, the Space Force will require congressional approval.

The defense chief's recent remarks represent a clear change of heart from just a year ago, when Mr. Mattis in a letter to Congress expressed doubt about the wisdom of a separate military branch to fight in space.

But, earlier this week, Mr Mattis said he is in "complete alignment" with Mr Trump's concerns about USA space assets.

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.

Pence pointed to Russia's development of airborne lasers to disrupt space-based systems and China's successful demonstration of how a missile can track and destroy satellites. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".

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