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Sat, Aug 11, 2018

Pence: Pentagon Is Making Plans For The 'Space Force'

Goal Is Establishment Of The Sixth Branch Of The Military By 2020

Plans are already underway to establish a "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military, according to Vice President Mike Pence.

Speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, Vice President Pence announced that the Department of Defense was releasing a report outlining the first stages of the administration’s plan to implement the President’s guidance and turn his vision into a reality.

"This report reviews the national security space activities within the Department of Defense, and it identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new Department of the Space Force," Pence said in his prepared remarks.

"Now, to be clear, the Space Force will not be built from scratch because the men and the women who run and protect our nation’s space programs today are already the best in the world. And since the dawn of the Space Age, America has remained the best in space.

"Over the past 60 years, the United States has assembled the largest and most sophisticated constellation of military and intelligence satellites in the world.

"We’ve pioneered the technology to leverage American power in space here on Earth, and give our warfighters the intelligence that they need, and give our intelligence community the information they need to maintain a strategic advantage wherever our warfighters are operating," Pence continued.

"Across this Department and our intelligence agency, there are literally tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians, and contractors operating and supporting our space systems, and together they’re the eyes and the ears of America’s warfighters around the globe. And they do a remarkable job.

"I’ve seen their work firsthand. I’ve traveled across the country to meet with the men and women who are fighting for America’s future in space in my first year and a half on this job, from the airmen of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, whose fleet of surveillance, navigation, and communication satellites increase the agility, precision, and effectiveness of our armed forces; to the engineers of the Missile Defense Agency at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama who are forging the next generation of rockets to strengthen our missile defense; to the many other bases and facilities across the country where our men and women in uniform work together with our intelligence community and our allies to protect our people, our nation, and our interests around the world.

"And over the past 18 months, President Trump and our entire administration have taken decisive action to strengthen American power in space as well."

Pence renewed President Donald Trump's call for an investment of $8 billion in space security systems in the next five years.

The Pentagon report calls for the creation of a new unified combatant command for space: The United States Space Command.

This new command structure for the physical domain of space, led by a four-star flag officer, will establish unified command and control for our Space Force operations, ensure integration across the military, and develop the space warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures of the future.

The second step this report calls for is the creation of an elite group of joint warfighters specializing in the domain of space who will form the backbone of the nation’s newest armed service: Space Operations Force.

"Creating a new branch of the military is not a simple process. It will require collaboration, diligence, and above all, leadership. As challenges arise, deadlines approach, there must be someone in charge who can execute, hold others accountable, and be responsible for the results," Pence said.

"So we will create a single civilian position, reporting to the Secretary of Defense, to oversee the growth and expansion of this new branch of service. This position will be a new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space. And this leader will be key to the critical transition to a fully independent Secretary of the Space Force in the years ahead."

(Source: Vice President Pence prepared remarks. Image from Trump TV YouTube video)

FMI: Full briefing transcript

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