Trump wants Space Force by 2020

Trump wants Space Force by 2020
Donald Trump
Washington, Aug 10 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/10/2018 12:41:37 PM IST

US President Donald Trump’s administration has set a goal of creating a sixth branch of the US military by 2020 known as the Space Force and says it will work to build bipartisan support in Congress for the plan.

Critics view the creation of a Space Force as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavour and scoff at comparisons to the establishment of the Air Force in 1947.

The Space Force would be responsible for a range of crucial space-based US military capabilities, which include everything from satellites enabling the Global Positioning System (GPS) to sensors that help track missile launches.

US Vice-President Mike Pence, in a Pentagon address, described the Space Force as “an idea whose time has come”.

“The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America,” he said, adding that Congress must now act to establish and fund the department. Trump, the champion of the plan, tweeted, “Space Force all the way!”

Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign sent a fundraising email asking supporters to vote on their favourite Space Force logo for future Trump campaign merchandise, offering a choice of six. “President Trump wants a SPACE FORCE — a ground-breaking endeavour for the future of America and the final frontier,” Times cites an email, signed by Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale, as saying.

“As a way to celebrate President Trump’s huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear. But first we have to make a final decision on the design we will use to commemorate President Trump’s new Space Force - and he wants YOU to have a say.”

All the logos feature the words “Space Force”, with one also saying “Mars awaits”.

During the Pentagon speech, Pence fleshed out the idea Trump had flagged in recent months as he vowed to ensure American dominance in space.

He described space as a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested but has now become crowded and adversarial. “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.

Pence portrayed the change as a response to foes’ potential aggression rather than any offensive US military effort.

Citing Russia and China, he said that for years US adversaries have “pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communication satellites via electronic attacks from the ground.”

“As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge,” he said.

Their remarks were timed to coincide with the release of a Pentagon report outlining the steps needed to create a Space Force, something it does not have the power to do on its own.

The Pentagon report included interim steps including creating a unified combatant command, known as the US Space Command, by the end of 2018, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.

The department would also established a Space Development Agency to more quickly identify and develop new technologies and a Space Operations Force of leaders and fighters and a new support structure.

In the second phase, the Pentagon would combine all the components into the new sixth branch of service. The current five branches of the US military include Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

In the meantime, the Space Command would be led by a four-star general, and Pence said a new high-level civilian post, assistant defence secretary for space, would also be created.


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