Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching a pricey, new service. "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.While our adversaries have been busy weaponizing space too often we have bureaucratized it and over time our ability to adapt to new and emerging threats has been stifled by needless layers of red tape", Pence said. China and Russian Federation are the nation's primary rivals in space.
"Both nations are also investing heavily in what are known as hypersonic missiles created to fly up to 5 miles per second at such low altitudes that they could potentially evade detection by our missile defense radars", Pence said. This person will oversee the Space Force and report to the Secretary of Defense.
The Space Force would be responsible for a range of crucial space-based US military capabilities, which include everything from satellites enabling the Global Positioning System (GPS) to sensors that help track missile launches.
Trump is obviously a fan of the new branch, tweeting "Space Force all the way!" as Pence spoke.
He says advances by China and Russian Federation have increased the need for the U.S.to elevate its space efforts.
"We have been warning for years of the need to protect our space assets and to develop more capable space systems", the lawmakers said in a joint statement. "Until we have those same needs in space, the Air Force and the other services are doing all the things we need to do".
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"This is a process we're in", Mattis noted. This force will draw from across the military to provide space expertise in times of crisis and conflict, Pence said.
"In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands 'at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, '" Pence said.
Critics argue that Trump's Space Force would be stepping on the toes of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, which now oversees the nation's military operations in space.
"Our nation's armed forces have always been the vanguard of advancing American leadership here on Earth and beyond", Pence said.
Mr Trump's plans for a Space Force require approval by Congress, with a budget for the scheme to be outlined next year.
In a letter to a USA congressman, he said he did "not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations", adding it would create extra bureaucracy and cost. So, before we can "have the Space Force", as Trump put it, the White House will have to convince lawmakers that the USA really needs it.