'Time has come' to create U.S. Space Force: Pence

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The report calls for the creation of a new major unified Combatant Command called US Space Command, which would be akin to the operational commands that oversee US troops in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific.

Pence and the report noted that Congressional action would be required to establish a new military branch, but said the Trump administration would work with Congress to establish the force and would seek funding for it in its next defense budget request.

Vice-President Mike Pence announced plans Thursday for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as a 6th military service by 2020 to ensure America's dominance in space amid heightened completion and threats from China and Russian Federation.

"Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America's best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation", he said.

"We have the direction from the president, and we're underway", Mattis said Tuesday.

In the meantime, White House officials have been working with national security leaders to aggressively move ahead without Congress.

The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for a future Space Force, moving closer to an order from President Trump earlier this summer to create a sixth branch of the armed forces.

The creation of a Space Force has met with opposition, inside and out of the Pentagon. This agency will streamline the process of ensuring the Space Force has the tools and technologies it needs when it needs them.

Key among these is the creation of US Space Command, a new organizational body that would draw in members of existing military branches.

But the plan to create an entirely new branch of the service has rankled some in the Pentagon, who say it is unnecessary, and that the Air Force has for years looked after the nation's interests in orbit.

According to the Washington Post, the first of these steps is to establish a U.S. Space Command. The department would first come together under an assistant secretary of defense for space, Pence said, and later receive a dedicated service secretary as development matured.

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.

Pence cited adversaries' advancements in developing hypersonic missiles, which can travel up to five miles per second and evade missile warning systems. The new branch would need to compete for money with other big, politically protected Defense Department priorities that Congress already funds.

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 only person that I've heard say this is a fantastic idea is the commander in chief, the president of the United States", Kelly said.

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