VP Pence Rallies Support for US Space Force

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Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images Pence greets audience members after announcing the Trump Administration's plan to create the U.S. Space Force.

Its creation however is not a done deal, as it needs to be approved by Congress, and the concept has met with some skepticism from lawmakers and defense officials who are wary of the cost and added bureaucracy.

"To prepare for the next battlefield where America's best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation".

Former astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain Mark Kelly on Thursday said a separate military branch devoted to space was redundant and wasteful, and that while Pence was right about the threats in outer space, the military was already handling them.

"America will always seek peace, in space as on earth", Pence said.

According to the Washington Post, the first of these steps is to establish a U.S. Space Command.

Mr Trump "knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity and is a vital domain for national defence" while, under his direction, the U.S. is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said.

The Pentagon's role in space has been under scrutiny because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly reliant on satellites that are hard to protect in space.

Pence says it's needed to ensure America's dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russian Federation.

"Both China and Russian Federation have been conducting highly sophisticated "on-orbit" activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity with ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems", Pence said.

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We understand that if any other country claims that they are part of its national territory, this may have severe consequences. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko said: "All the responsibility [of the war] belongs to the Russian Federation".

It's going to take a lot more than a few grandiose speeches from Trump and Pence in order for the Space Force idea to come to fruition, though.

Trump marked Pence's announcement with a tweet: "Space Force all the way!"

Meanwhile, others have argued that it makes sense to form a separate military branch specifically for space. "We must have American dominance in space".

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has said such a move would "rip the Air Force apart". "It's risky to have a leader who can not be talked out of insane ideas". "The Space Force is the next and natural evolution of American military strength".

Vice President Mike Pence says the administration's plans for the U.S. Space Force, the country's sixth military branch, call for it to be up and running by 2020.

David Cicilline, who sits in the House of Representatives, asked if "no Republican" would tell the president "what a dumb idea Space Force is".

"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial", he said.

It's unclear how these changes would be integrated into or exist alongside the creation of a separate Department of the Space Force should Congress authorize its existence next year. He then revealed that the Department of Defense would release a report later in the day outlining the steps needed to create this new military branch.

On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon chief said he fully supported the idea of creating a new US Space Command.

For years, the Pentagon has been warning about how space has become a contested domain of war, just like the land, air and sea.