Details of US Space Force, 6th military branch unveiled

Details of US Space Force, 6th military branch unveiled

It's official: The Trump administration says it will create a sixth branch of the USA military known as the " Space Force" by 2020.

President Donald Trump ordered the creation of Space Force in June, arguing the Pentagon needs it to tackle vulnerabilities in space and assert USA dominance in orbit.

"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 war fighting doctrine tactics and techniques of the future", said Pence.

The report also calls for the creation of "a Space Operations Force of career space experts who are trained, promoted and retained as space warfighting professionals" to include engineers, scientists, intelligence experts, operators and strategists. "The Space Force is the next and natural evolution of American military strength". Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., leaders of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said in a statement. "We are going to have the Space Force", he said during a meeting of the National Space Council.

Much of the push to formalize an off-planet branch of the USA armed forces is motivated by space investment by Russian Federation and China.

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The announcement follows a seven-week review by DoD, directed by President Donald J. Trump, of "the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces".

One of the arguments in favor of devoting more resources to a Space Force or Space Command is that American rivals like Russian Federation and China appear increasingly ready to strike US space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict. Pence also said President Trump would request $8 billion to spend on the space security systems over the next five years.

"We must have American dominance in space, and so we will", Pence said in his speech at the Pentagon.

Under the new plan, space elements that are now scattered across the department would be gathered under one command, which Pence said would better ensure integration across the military.

China and Russian Federation have had significant achievements in space - they have tested technology to shoot down satellites.

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Afterwards, in an apparent sign of approval, Mr Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!".

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".

The report to be released today represents a critical step toward establishing the Space Force, he said.

"Recently our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself", Pence said.

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