Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump directs creation of 'space force' as sixth branch of military

Trump directs creation of 'space force' as sixth branch of military

President Donald Trump today announced the formation of the nation's sixth military service - the space force - to join the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

U.S. Space Command, under the U.S. Air Force branch, has been in control of military space operations.

Trump claimed that the plan will ensure that America, which plans a return to the moon and a mission to Mars, stays ahead of China and Russian Federation in any new space race.

He then directed the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

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"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force - separate but equal". Please refresh for updates.

Mr Trump said the U.S. will "be the leader by far" in space and that he wants to revive the nation's flagging space program.

A space force is created to ensure friendly use of space and conduct of outer space operations, care after military training missions and space warfare or any combat that may occur in space.

According to the Associated Press, O'Keefe said some people may argue that a space force would "compromise the sanctity of considering space to be off limits from warfare".

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But near the beginning of his remarks, Trump focused on the security implications of operating in space.

The president made the announcement at the same time he revealed the creation of what he called the Space Force, a new branch of the military whose creation will be overseen by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. "What we hope to do is have a more user-friendly approach...we hope to see people get more rapid information on when they can launch, more flexibility on their launch windows going up, [and to] see satellites having to maneuver less often because of potential collision risk". It is created to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups.

Trump floated the idea in March and said that it was a joke at first.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The administration's first space policy directive, signed December 11, 2017, called for NASA to focus on returning humans to the moon. He was jointed by Vice President Mike Pence.

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