Pence announced in August that the administration hopes to establish Space Force as the sixth branch of the US military as soon as 2020, the first since the Air Force was formed after World War II. "Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea, and America will be as dominant there as we are here on Earth", he told the space council on October 23.
Pence's remarks on Tuesday came during a "Transformers: Space" policy summit hosted by the Post at its Washington headquarters, where he provided an outline of the Trump administration's plans for space in the coming year.
Later Tuesday, the National Space Council, convened by the White House and chaired by the vice president, met at the National Defense University.
Space is a potential battlefield. Pence promised that the new troops will be established no later than 2020.
The White House says it is pushing ahead with plans to establish a new USA space force, but the first steps will stop short of creating a sixth branch of the military as touted earlier this year by President Donald Trump.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence said the White House will include funding for the Space Command in the budget proposal next year, with the goal of getting approval from Congress so it can be in place by 2020.
Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said the space force was essential to protect the US' assets, particularly satellites. The Air Force has estimated that Space Force could cost $3 billion in its first year and would likely need $13 billion in its first five years. "And there are a number of steps that will be launched in the very short term but that will ultimately lead to the launch of a Department of the United States Space Force in the next national Defense Authorization Act", Pence said.
Critics, including some Democratic lawmakers, have said its creation is an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor that would simply shift work already being done well by other services like the Air Force.
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