Trump tells Pentagon to create "Space Force"

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The new branch of America's mililtary services will be "separate but equal" with the Air Force, Trump said.

- The Associated Press (@AP) June 18, 2018BREAKING: "We're going to have the space force", Trump says. Military Academy at West Point or the Air Force Academy, then the "accoutrements add up", Harrison said.

"We understand the President's guidance", said Defense Department chief spokeswoman Dana White.

No other details were immediately released on what the exact mission of the service branch would be given.

Aside from military objectives, the new space force would also spearhead new USA -led efforts to return to the moon and eventually launch a new exploratory mission to Mars.

It was the first time that President Trump attended a public meeting of the National Space Council.

Of course, some in Congress, notably Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the HASC strategic forces subcommittee, and his ranking member, Rep. Jim Cooper, have pressed hard for a space force, arguing the Air Force's pilot-dominated culture pays insufficient attention space, to our peril. Conceivably the 2019 NDAA that is now going through the legislative cycle could create the Space Force, Loverro said, although Congress would have to give the Defense Department at least one or two years to execute such a large reorganization.

"I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts", he wrote. The service now has responsibility for military space operations.

Trump said Monday that the United States' space program had been bogged down by politics and rising costs.

The establishment of an independent space force was mentioned by Trump in a March speech to service members in California, but it has faced opposition since it could create an expensive new headquarters bureaucracy and trigger complex and divisive battles between the agencies that now control part of the space mission. "Separate but equal. It is going to be something", Trump said. "Space Policy Directive 3 will see the Defense Department maintain a catalog of space objects, while the Commerce Department is responsible for providing warnings of non-classified data to commercial satellite operators and civilian organizations".

The announcement also put to rest any questions about where the Trump Administration would move policy around space exploration.

However, because the treaty does not specify conventional weapons, countries such as the U.S., China and Russian Federation are looking into ways to expand defenses to space - such as anti-satellite missiles, etc. The Space Corps - as it's been called - was in the House version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act but later dropped in conference. The Air Force already maintains a Space Command, for example.

The order signed today doesn't include any specifics on how the Space Force would operate. It is created to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups. Space-related missions are now handled by the Air Force. "If you beat us to Mars, we'll be very happy and you'll be even more famous".

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