'Time has come' to create US Space Force, sixth military branch: Pence

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"The time has come to establish the Unites States Space Force".

"The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America", he said, adding that Congress must now act to establish and fund the department.

The Space Force would be the first new military branch since the Air Force was created in 1947 and would be meant to be equal to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

When the proposal for a separate force was launched past year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resisted it.

The report says the new command will "improve and evolve space warfighting", focusing on doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures.

The Pentagon report recommended that for now the unified command be in the hands of the Air Force, which currently oversees some of the most critical space-based capabilities.

However Mattis has since echoed support for Trump's position, saying Tuesday that he was "in complete alignment with the president's concern about protecting our assets in space that contribute to our security, to our economy". "It is becoming a contested war-fighting domain, and we've got to adapt to that reality", U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in his opening remarks before Pence's speech. The civilian space agency, NASA, discontinued the Space Shuttle program in 2011, leaving the Russian Soyuz as the only class of spaceships capable of delivering human crews to the International Space Station (ISS).

Mike Pence announced that Space Force, the so-dubbed sixth branch of the military, would be ready by 2020.

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"As President Trump has said, in his words: 'It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space".

Pence said an independent Space Force was essential to counter Russian Federation and China, which are "aggressively" working toward anti-satellite capabilities.

Under the new plan, space elements that are now scattered across the department would be gathered under one command, which Pence said would better ensure integration across the military.

Many members of congress are vowing to stop what they believe is a waste of time and money by the military.

The email came hours after Mr Pence gave a speech at the Pentagon, where he argued that the U.S. must invest in creating a new force in order to counter Russian and Chinese operations.

They said the Pentagon report was the start of a "multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America".

"Recently our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself", Pence said. He also says that the current system, with the Air Force in charge of military space operations, is not ideal.

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