Trump's 'Space Force' to be built in stages by 2020: Mike Pence

Trump's 'Space Force' to be built in stages by 2020: Mike Pence

"The National Space Council is making recommendations to the president to essentially begin with establishing a unified Space Command, much in the way that we established a Special Forces command", Mr Pence said at a space conference organised by the Washington Post.

The White House has said it will release plans for the Space Force early next year. Pence promised that the new troops will be established no later than 2020.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said that "right now what we're going to do is set up a combatant command", and the military would be working with the Congress on it.

'It will be a consolidation, we believe, and from there future Congresses and future administrations can grow and expand and nurture. the Space Force as they see fit'.

On Tuesday, Pence described the proposed Space Force as the "next and natural evolution of our armed forces", arguing that USA adversaries such as China and Russian Federation are developing new technologies, such as hypersonic missiles, that make space a place where wars can be fought.

A lack of centralized leadership and accountability threatened USA ability to 'advance our national security in space, ' Pence said. The vice president said steps are being taken to establish the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the military that is "separate from and equal to the five other branches".

But congressional support of the Space Force proposal is not certain, and Pentagon officials have said standing up a new military service could cost billions of dollars. "President Trump has stated forcefully a truth that the leaders of the National Defense University have long understood: That space is a war fighting domain, just like the air, land and sea, and America will be just as dominant there as we are here on earth".

"The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of the armed forces of the United States, to turn the page to an evolution of our armed forces, to meet the challenges and opportunities on that limitless frontier", Pence said.

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