Mike Pence expected to announce plans for ‘Space Force’ in U.S

Susan Walsh  AP

"In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands 'at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, '" Pence said. This force will draw from across the military to provide space expertise in times of crisis and conflict, Pence said.

The US vice-president Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate US Space Force as a sixth military service by 2020.

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space - we must have American dominance in space".

Mr Trump "knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity and is a vital domain for national defence" while, under his direction, the USA is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said.

"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", he said, repeating Trump's call for Congress to invest an additional US$8 billion in USA space security systems over the next five years. A Space Force, dedicated to space the way the Navy is to the sea, would be the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947.

The creation of the Space Development Agency.

The document outlines how America's military is at risk in space due to adversaries pursuing "counter-space" capabilities to neutralize America's satellites during a conflict, such as by jamming or hacking them. A Department of the Space Force would likely have similar responsibilities to the other services, which is to train and equip their service members for military operations around the globe that are controlled by combatant commands.

Since then, the White House has continued to press forward for a Space Force, giving the issue momentum and the weight of the executive branch.

Under the plan, the Pentagon will recruit a civilian Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, and set up an office to develop tech and buy satellites to help the United States in space combat. In a letter to Congress past year, Secretary James Mattis said he opposed the idea of a separate force, arguing that it would "likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations" and said that a "properly integrated approach is better for carrying out this mission".

The U.S. Air Force Space Command already handles the country's security and surveillance in space.

At least one Twitter user is hoping Space Force can finally settle the flat-Earth debate by telling us what's on the other side.

Hawaii senator Brian Schatz branded the Space Force a "silly but unsafe idea" as he instead urged the expansion of the "Medicaid" health programme. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength. And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength".

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