Pence outlines plan for new Space Force by 2020

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"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", the Fox News host said. "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force".

But the calls for a separate military branch have been met with strong reluctance in some parts of the Pentagon amid concerns that it doesn't need the burdens of a new bureaucracy.

The US has outlined plans to "prepare for the next battlefield" by creating a new "Space Force" to counter the threat of China and Russian Federation. "And so we will", Pence said.

He did, however, say the Pentagon was in "complete agreement" with the White House.

On June 18, Trump showed that he was serious about the Space Force by formally directing the Pentagon to create the new military branch. If Congress gives the green light to Space Force, the sixth branch of the military could officially be formed as early as 2020.

The creation of the Space Development Agency.

The vice president asserted the administration is seeking to add the new military branch by 2020.

During his speech, Pence outlined four specific actions the Trump administration sees as the fundamental first steps in creating the Space Force.

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

To establish the sixth branch, the White House would need the approval of Congress.

The Pentagon's role in space has been under scrutiny because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly reliant on satellites that are hard to protect in space.

A new assistant secretary of defense for space: A position that will help transition eventually to a "fully independent Secretary of the Space Force in the years ahead" who will report to Secretary of Defense Mattis.

"At this point I think it is becoming clear that DoD and the Air Force are not in the driver's seat when it comes to this issue", said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In 2007, China launched a missile that tracked and destroyed one of its own satellites, the vice president said. "Both nations are also investing heavily in hypersonic missiles that are created to fly up to 5 miles per second and at such low altitudes that they could evade detection by our missile-defense radars". The first step would be to create a US Space Command by the end of the year, a new combatant command that would have dedicated resources, be led by a four-star general, and be tasked with defending space, the way the Pentagon's Pacific Command oversees the ocean.

Star Wars fan and comedy writer Brian Santa Maria is hoping that camping out for Star Wars: Episode I tickets back in 1999 will now qualify him for a Space Force GI Bill.

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