By Claudette Roulo
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department will establish a sixth branch of the armed forces, the U.S. Department of the Space Force, by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence announced today.
In a speech at the Pentagon, the vice president also announced plans to establish a new combatant command — U.S. Space Command — as well as a Space Operations Force and a new joint organization called the Space Development Agency.
The announcement follows a seven-week review by DoD, directed by President Donald J. Trump, of “the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
A report outlining the results of the study was released later in the day.
“In his inaugural address to the nation, President Trump declared that the United States stands ‘at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space,’” Pence said.
Just as advances in aviation technology drove the emergence of air as a new battlefield in the 20th century, advances in space technology have made it clear that space is the new battlefield for the 21st century, the vice president said. The U.S. will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield, he said, and carry on the cause of liberty and peace into the next great frontier.
“The time has come to establish the United States Space Force,” Pence said.
The new branch will be separate from, but equal to, the five other branches, he said.READ MORE