President Donald Trump announced Monday his intent to direct the Pentagon to create a military “Space Force” as an independent fighting force in the United States.
“It is not enough to have an American presence in space, we must have an American dominance in space,” Trump said.
Trump called for a “separate but equal” branch of the military dedicated to space, specifically directing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford to carry out his directive.
“General, got it?” Trump said.
“You got it,” Dunford replied.
“Let’s go get it General,” Trump said.
The president commented on the issue during a White House event promoting space travel and a meeting of the National Space Council.
“For too many years our dreams of exploration and discovery were really squandered by politics and bureaucracy and we knocked that out,” Trump said.
Trump said he believed leadership in space was crucial for the country’s national “psyche.”
“We don’t want China and Russia and other countries leading us,” Trump said. “We’ve always led — we’ve gone way far afield for decades now, having to do with our subject today. We’re going to be the leader by far.”
The president recognized Apollo astronauts Jack Schmitt and Buzz Aldrin were present for the event as well as executives from air and space-related industries.
“The American astronaut embodied the incredible spirit of America: the confidence of a cowboy, the skill of a fighter pilot, the ambition of a scientist, and the courage of a true, true, brilliant, tough warrior,” Trump said. “They bounded fearlessly into the unknown to be there first. They did the impossible because they knew that, together, there is absolutely nothing Americans can’t do.”