VP Mike Pence unveils detailed plans for Space Force

Mike Pence expected to announce plans for ‘Space Force’ in U.S. military

Mike Pence expected to announce plans for ‘Space Force’ in U.S. military

As Pence spoke, the Pentagon released a report to Congress about what steps the Defense Department and Congress need to take to stand up a Space Force, which the vice president called "the next and natural evolution of American military strength".

"The time has come to establish the Unites States Space Force", Pence said in a speech to U.S. military and civilian personnel at the Pentagon, citing threats from China and Russian Federation.

Currently, the Air Force oversees most space capabilities and there is some push back from officials who worry Space Force's mission would be duplicative and create turf wars.

On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called Pence "the point man" on issues pertaining to the USA military and space. It already contains a Space Command, which it established in 1982. China and Russian Federation are the nation's primary rivals in space.

"To be clear: the Space Force will not be built from scratch, because the men and women who run and protect our nation's space programs today are already the best in the world", the vice president said.

On Thursday Mattis appeared to change his tune, and said space was "becoming a contested war-fighting domain and we have got to adapt to that reality".

He laid out what the U.S. perceived as threats from Moscow and Beijing in particular, who are developing new weapons for use in space as well as improving their ability to counter existing systems, such as GPS.

U.S. defence secretary James Mattis has previously been against establishing a new military branch specifically for space. One person wrote, "Everyone keeps spelling it wrong, not "Space Force" but "Space Balls".

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"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial, today other nations are seeking to disrupt our space based systems and challenge American supremacy in space", Pence said.

One of the arguments in favor of devoting more resources to a Space Force or Space Command is that American rivals like Russian Federation and China appear increasingly ready to strike USA space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, in a Pentagon address, described the Space Force as "an idea whose time has come".

Pence said the plans call for a command structure, a creation of a space operations force and a joint organization - a space development agency.

"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", the Fox News host said.

Any plan by the White House to create a new military service would need congressional action.

The Pentagon's report was welcomed by some members of Congress. He also says that the current system, with the Air Force in charge of military space operations, is not ideal.

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