Pence: Space Force Will Be Independent Service by 2020, Include Elite Operators

Pentagon to create new command for fighting in space but resists Trump's proposed 'space force'

President Trump’s plan for a new military service focused on space-based operations faces an uncertain future

Pence said an independent Space Force was essential to counter Russian Federation and China, which are "aggressively" working toward anti-satellite capabilities.

"It's not enough to have an American presence in space", Pence said Thursday in a speech at the Pentagon.

Mr. Pence, the administration's liaison with the Defense Department on the coming Space Force, will address reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday and is expected to formally release an internal military review of what it will take to create the new command.

In just two years the United States plans to have a new military programme geared towards space.

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

Even before Trump's comments, the Defense Department was under orders to formulate a "concept of operations" document for space war fighting.

"By 1945, the American military had almost 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier", he said.

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

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis - who had earlier opposed the idea - had issued a preliminary report calling for the creation of an assistant secretary of defense for space, establishment of a special operations force that would be trained for space combat and formation of the Space Development Agency that would focus on innovation and new technologies.

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"To be clear, the Space Force will not be built from scratch, because the men and women who run and protect our nation's space programs today are already the best in the world", he said. "In fact, China claimed to have made its first successful test of a hypersonic vehicle just last week".

He said that the report "identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new Department of the Space Force".

Mattis stopped short of giving a wholehearted endorsement of the Space Force as a separate branch, however.

Shortly after Pence's speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

Congressional approval would be needed to establish an entirely new military branch. "Both nations are also investing heavily in hypersonic missiles that are created to fly up to 5 miles per second and at such low altitudes that they could evade detection by our missile-defense radars".

The US is a member of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, a document which represents the basic legal framework of global space law. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".

Vice President Mike Pence is rallying support for the Trump administration's push to develop a the Space Force.

Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise station them in outer space.

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