Details of US Space Force, 6th military branch unveiled

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Duluth on Wednesday morning and greeted supporters

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 civilian space agency, NASA, discontinued the Space Shuttle program in 2011, leaving the Russian Soyuz as the only class of spaceships capable of delivering human crews to the International Space Station (ISS).

Joan Johnson-Freese, a space security expert at the Naval War College, told Brumfiel that she doesn't think a Space Force is now necessary. This person will oversee the Space Force and report to the Secretary of Defense.

The U.S. Air Force Space Command already handles the country's security and surveillance in space.

Mike Pence announced that Space Force, the so-dubbed sixth branch of the military, would be ready by 2020.

Pence said Russia, China and other nations hostile to the U.S. were "weaponizing space", pointing to their efforts to develop satellite-killing rockets and weaponry. Pence described space as a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested but has now become crowded and adversarial.

But, earlier this week, Mr Mattis said he is in "complete alignment" with Mr Trump's concerns about USA space assets.

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On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon chief said he fully supported the idea of creating a new US Space Command.

"Our Administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by 2020", Pence added.

"This report is a step in a multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America", the statement reads. For example, Russian Federation and China are pursuing anti-satellite weapons, including lasers, to "reduce US military effectiveness". "Next February, in the president's budget, we will call on the Congress to marshal the resources we need to stand up the Space Force, and before the end of next year, our administration will work with the congress to enact the statutory authority for the space force in the National Defense Authorization Act", he said.

In a letter to a USA congressman, he said he did "not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations", adding it would create extra bureaucracy and cost.

"Our nation's armed forces have always been the vanguard of advancing American leadership here on Earth and beyond", Pence said.

Speaking to an audience at the Pentagon, as he set out more details about the proposal, vice-president Mike Pence said: "The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces".

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