DONALD Trump ordered the creation of a new Space Force to bring America’s military might beyond our atmosphere.
President Trump said the Space Force will be the sixth branch of the United States armed forces — but what will it be?
AP:Associated Press Donald Trump signing his Space Policy Directive calling on the Pentagon and Department of Defence to begin plans to set up a Space Force
What is the new Space Force?
The Pentagon and US Department of Defence have been tasked with creating the new force to ensure what Trump called “American dominance” of space.
It will be the sixth branch of the US armed forces — alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Trump said he wants to counter Russian and Chinese developments in space tech.
And he said he wants US agencies to “implement a state-of-the-art framework for space traffic management”.
Announcing the decision on 18 June 2018, Trump said: “We are going to have the Air Force, but we are going to have the Space Force — separate but equal.”
Directing his attention to Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Trump said, “General Dunford, if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored also …Where’s General Dunford? General? Got it?”
Dunford appeared to acknowledge the order, responding, “we got it.”
Is a new US Space Force possible?
Vice President Mike Pence announced plans to create a new, separate Space Force as a sixth military service by 2020 on August 9.
Mr Pence, 59, said Space Force was needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia.
He added that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.
He said: “The Space Force will not be built from scratch. This is a critical step toward’s establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of our armed forces.”
It also depends on funding approval from Congress, which could drag on for months if not years.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said: “Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders.”
The United States already has some space fighting infrastructure and much of its military set-up has input from space technology — from long-range missiles to satellite tracking.
The Colorado-based Air Force Space Command in 1982 includes more than 36,000 personnel around the world that provide space and cyber capabilities for the Defense Department.
The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, designs, buys and oversees most of the Pentagon’s space systems.
Trump said in the East Room of the White House: “My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest spacefaring nation.
“The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers.”