The Space Force is here.
Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the Pentagon is beginning the process of creating a sixth branch of the United States military dedicated to space that will be known as the Space Force.
“The time has come to establish the United States Space Force,” Pence announced in the Pentagon auditorium filled with more than 350 service members and civilians.
Pence compared the creation of the Space Force to the creation of the Air Force at the start of World War II.
“In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, the U.S. Army Air Corps was still a fledgling organization. But as Nazi air forces bombed their way from Warsaw to London, our military commanders took decisive action then to meet that new threat head on,” he said.
“By 1945, the American military had nearly 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier,” he said. “America and our allies emerged victorious from World War II because of the strength of our armed forces and because our armed forces adapted to meet the emerging threats of the day.”
“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. “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”
In attendance were Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, and National Guard Bureau Chief Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel.
Lengyel told Breitbart News it was a “historic day,” but that there was “a lot of work ahead.”
Pence announced the release of a Pentagon report on how to implement the president’s vision. The report calls for the creation of a unified combatant command called U.S. Space Command, an elite Space Operations Force, Department of the Space Force, and an agency that will field weapons for the new Space Force known as Space Development Agency.
Pence discussed actions China and Russia have taken to militarize the space domain.
“For many years, nations, from Russia and China, to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communication satellites via electronic attacks from the ground. But recently, our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself,” he said.
“As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a war-fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge. Under President Trump’s leadership we will meet it head on,” he said.
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” he added.
Trump tweeted after the announcement:
Space Force all the way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2018
While the Pentagon can take steps to create the Space Force, ultimately Congress has to authorize and fund it. Pence said the White House is building bipartisan support for the plan, working closely with members of the House Armed Services Committee.
The proposal has backing from Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Jim Cooper (D-TN), the leaders of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.
“We particularly appreciate Deputy Secretary Shanahan’s leadership on these issues and look forward to the establishment of a much-needed independent Space Force, as called for by President Trump,” they said in a statement.