'Good Chance' of Launching Space Force Next Year

Katie Ramirez
October 26, 2018

"First, we'll create a new unified combatant command, the United States Space Command, that will establish a dedicated chain of command for Space Force operations, ensure integration across the military and develop the doctrine, tactics and procedures of space warfighting in the 21st century", Pence said.

Pence said: 'Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea, and America will be as dominant there as we are here on Earth'.

"We will forge a new era of peace through strength in outer space", Pence said.

The National Space Council and National Security Council will also be expected to review current space operational authorities and explore changes to create future guidance to give more flexibility to war fighters.

Pence's remarks on Tuesday came during a "Transformers: Space" policy summit hosted by the Post at its Washington headquarters, where he provided an outline of the Trump administration's plans for space in the coming year.

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On Tuesday, Pence described the proposed Space Force as the "next and natural evolution of our armed forces", arguing that USA adversaries such as China and Russian Federation are developing new technologies, such as hypersonic missiles, that make space a place where wars can be fought.

According to Pence, about 60,000 people are now working on space security in the United States, across various branches of the military and intelligence services.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said the space force was essential to protect the US' assets, particularly satellites.

But Pence claimed that Russian Federation and China already have military operations in space and said potential threats in space include anti-satellite weapons, airborne lasers, "highly threatening in-orbit activities and evasive hypersonic missiles". The Air Force has estimated that Space Force could cost $3 billion in its first year and would likely need $13 billion in its first five years.

Critics, including some Democratic lawmakers, have said the creation of Space Command would be an expensive duplication of work already being done by other services like the Air Force. It also calls for $10 million a year for five years starting in 2020 to fund the commerce arm.

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