Creating a sixth branch of the United States military to oversee space defense - a Space Force -could spur technological innovation, but could just as likely cause disruption among organizations tasked with defending USA military and commercial interests in orbit, according to Margaret E. Kosal, an associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Vice President Mike Pence today unveiled details of plans to create such a force that would become the sixth branch of America's military, saying the "time has come" to prepare for "the next battlefield".
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence called for the establishment of a Space Force by 2020, citing threats from Russian Federation and China, and announced immediate steps to overhaul how the military approaches space.
"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.
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Trump praised the Space Force on Twitter after Pence's speech.
Others were a bit more apprehensive about the proposal, and they provided plenty of space-related jokes, including a few Hollywood-inspired quips.
Currently, the Air Force oversees most space capabilities and there is some pushback from officials who worry Space Force's mission would be duplicative and create turf wars. But a US force won't be with anybody unless Congress approves funding, and they already tabled the idea. One of the designs is clearly based on the current logo of NASA, the civilian U.S. space agency. But he didn't specifically advocate a Space Force.
Finally, the Pentagon would also establish a US Space Command to be led by a four-star general or flag officer, he said. "This is a process we're in".
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The last time a new branch of the military was established was in 1947, when the Army Air Corps was disbanded and the US Air Force was established. The command has about 38,000 personnel and operates 185 military satellite systems, including the Global Positioning System and communications and weather satellites.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday delivered a speech at the Pentagon outlining the administration's plan to move forward with the Space Force, which including instructions for the Department of Defense to draft a legislative proposal for Congress.
Second, the report calls for the establishment of a Space Operations Force - an elite group of joint warfighters, specializing in the domain of space, who will form the backbone of the nation's newest armed service.
But he, too, isn't convinced that a Space Force is the answer. This group would be the core of an eventual Space Force, to be created as a separate military service.
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