Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the Trump administration wants a new "Space Force" ready for battle by the year 2020 - charging that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have already militarized the final frontier and that the USA needs to catch up. It was only seven weeks ago that President Trump directed DoD to begin the process.
But Mattis said that creating a new combatant command for space, such as one that governs the Pentagon's Special Operations, "is certainly one thing that we can establish". "Space is essential to the nation's security and prosperity".
But 56 years later, space plays a vital role in just about every aspect of modern warfare, with many military technologies reliant on a network of sensors and satellites floating in orbit.
"It is imperative that the United States adapts its policies, doctrine, and capabilities to protect our interests", the document states.
Pence announced the new branch with a disturbing bit of imperialism.
Opinions on the Space Force in Congress have been divided.
He did, however, say the Pentagon was in "complete agreement" with the White House.
Despite the announcement, there has been some backlash from other politicians and former astronauts about the need for such a "Space Force".
Seth Macfarlane, the showrunner for the Sci-Fi comedy The Orville, put it bests when he tweeted, "If "Space Force" were a TV show, the writers would keep pitching on a better title".
The US is a member of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, a document which represents the basic legal framework of worldwide space law.
"The time has come to establish the Unites States Space Force", Pence said in a speech to USA military and civilian personnel at the Pentagon, citing threats from China and Russian Federation. He said the administration was working with Congress on legislation.
The Republicans face a battle to hang on to control of the Senate and House of Representatives in November's mid-term elections.
We'll keep you posted with all of the new developments surrounding space force.
Congressional approval would be needed to establish an entirely new military branch.
The vice president insisted that the force, which the administration hopes to have in place by 2020, would "not be built from scratch", but draw from the men and women who are already running America's space programs.
The U.S. already has a space-based military footprint. Next year's budget will seek funding and authorization for the venture.
"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", Smith said. They include the new command and creating a civilian position as an assistant Secretary of Defense for Space to oversee the transition.
"The U.S. military is big in space, but it's all unmanned satellites", Brumfiel reports. This also will require Congress to authorize a four-star general unless DoD moved to eliminate one of the existing four-star commands. We are glad that the Pentagon is finally taking these steps in enhancing our space strength.