WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday a new regulation that will establish “concrete steps” to be taken by the US government to create a military branch dedicated to providing security in space, an area which he said has become a new battlefield.
“The time has come to establish the Unites States Space Force,” Pence said in a speech to US military and civilian personnel at the Pentagon.
“Our Administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by 2020,” Pence added, noting that this would be a sixth branch of US Armed Forces.
In discussing the recommendation of the Defense Department, which will be sent to Congress for its approval, Pence cited threats from Russia and China, and noting that “Recently our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself.”
Pence said that the government had instructed Congress to allocate $8 billion to the task of creating a Space Force over the coming years so that it can be operational by 2020.
In June, President Donald Trump said in a speech before the National Space Council that he had directed “the Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
Pence said on Thursday that “Today the Department of Defense will release a report outlining the first stages of our administration’s plan to implement the President’s guidance and turn his vision into a reality.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis, who also participated in the event at which Pence spoke, agreed with the vice president on the need for the US to guarantee its deterrent ability in space by “protecting our assets in space that contribute to our security, to our economy.”