Mike Pence Announces 2020 Launch For Space Force

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"Just as we've done in ages past, the United States meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield", he said.

Pence compared the creation of the Space Force to the creation of the Air Force at the start of World War II.

"Both China and Russian Federation have been conducting highly sophisticated "on-orbit" activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity with ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems", Pence said.

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced plans for the creation of a Space Force, saying the Trump administration planned for it to be established by 2020.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mattis said he was in support of the creation of a separate combatant command for space, adding that his department was in "complete alignment with the president's concerns about protecting our assets in space".

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The Pentagon proposal delivered to Congress Thursday lays out plans to consolidate the Pentagon's war-fighting space forces and make organizational changes to boost the acquisition and development of leading edge technologies. Pence has been the administration's point man for space issues and the White House decided he should be the administration official rolling out the DoD report.

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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. Several steps must be taken to establish the space-centered military 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 U.S. in space combat.

Pence's speech was timed to coincide with the release of the Pentagon's report to Congress on the recommended organization and management structure of space components for the Department of Defense.

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Despite no details, and no timetable, the Space Force will require congressional approval.

While there is broad recognition of the necessity of protecting the US military's assets in space - with satellites playing a central role in modern everyday life and military operations - there remains vigorous debate about the virtues of creating a separate military branch.

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.

The defense secretary, Jim Mattis, has endorsed plans to reorganize the military's spacewar fighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".

Opinions on the Space Force in Congress have been divided.

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