Pence launches Space Force, says USA needs to prepare for 'next battlefield'
Pence launches Space Force, says USA needs to prepare for 'next battlefield'
Our anchor reporter Renee Passal covers the V.P.'s arrival
09 August, 2018, 23:14
In March this year, Mr Trump's National Space Strategy was said to recognise USA "competitors and adversaries have turned space into a warfighting domain".
"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", the Fox News host said.
"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", Pence said.
The vice president came to the Pentagon to release a report that Congress ordered in last year's defense policy bill laying out options to create a separate service for space. And some officials within the military and national security communities fiercely oppose the idea.
But, earlier this week, Mr Mattis said he is in "complete alignment" with Mr Trump's concerns about United States space assets.
The Trump administration believes the Space Force will allow it to accomplish that goal, and the nation now has at least the beginnings of a plan to bring its fifth military branch to fruition.
To establish the sixth branch, the White House would need the approval of Congress.
Trump, in an act of support, took to his favourite social medium to tweet the five words 'Space Force all the way!', causing a number of people to question his thought process.
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A new assistant secretary of defense for space: A position that will help transition eventually to a "fully independent Secretary of the Space Force in the years ahead" who will report to Secretary of Defense Mattis.
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.
He said the countries "have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to manoeuvre their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems".
"We need to address space as a developing, war-fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can establish", he said.
Russian and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States' assets in space.
Pence pointed to Russia's development of airborne lasers to disrupt space-based systems and China's successful demonstration of how a missile can track and destroy satellites.
"Both nations are also investing heavily in what is known as hypersonic missiles created to fly up to five miles per second at such low altitudes that they could potentially evade detection via our missile defence radars".
"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", the vice president said. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".
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