Pence Announces Creation of Space Force Branch by 2020

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced plans to establish a “Space Force” by 2020, which would be the sixth branch of the military and the first new defense branch since the Air Force was created in 1947. During his remarks at the Pentagon, Pence said that President Donald Trump’s “highest priority is the safety and security of the American people... Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea.” He also said that the U.S.’s presence in space was “not enough,” and the country must have “American dominance in space, and so we will.” Pence described some of the steps that will be taken to build the new military branch—including appointing a new assistant secretary of defense for space, building space warfighters, and forming a space-operations force that would pull “men and woman from across the military.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that a report about the establishment of Space Force would be sent to Congress after Pence’s remarks, and called the new branch an effort to “adapt” to space becoming a “contested” domain. “We’ve got to be able to compete, to deter, and to win,” Mattis said.