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The US Space Force

sferrin

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No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
 

Boxman

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Observation balloons and aircraft didn't physically pose a threat to anyone, but the information they gathered and relayed did.

Weapons have been transiting space since the first V-2 landed a warhead.

A "space force" is no more absurd than a navy or an air force.
 

fredymac

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The Air Force was carved off the Army in order to isolate its' budget from Army priorities. The lack of advocacy for space access technology and operational capability is partly due to Air Force focus on the air environment. Space is seen as auxiliary to that environment.

If an independent space service had been established in the 90's, it would have probably provided the advocacy and support to have pressed ahead with robust, economical space access technology and other operational capability. The political call comes in determining when Air Force organic priorities have become too hindering to national concerns for space operations.
 

VTOLicious

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sferrin said:
No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
I think you kinda missing my point...

"...As the Cold War began, fear of Outer Space being used for military purposes spread through the international community. This led to the creation of multiple organizations with the intent of governing how outer space can be used in order to assure it does not become the next frontier for conflict..."
 

sferrin

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VTOLicious said:
sferrin said:
No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
I think you kinda missing my point...

"...As the Cold War began, fear of Outer Space being used for military purposes spread through the international community. This led to the creation of multiple organizations with the intent of governing how outer space can be used in order to assure it does not become the next frontier for conflict..."
If you believe space won't become weaponized I have a bridge for sale. They may not station nukes in orbit (probably a dumb idea anyway from a reaction standpoint) but I won't be at all surprised to see defensive weapons deployed there.
 

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The WW I analogy is probably accurate. Reconnaissance, navigation, and communication satellites are already recognized as prime targets for ASAT attacks. Countermeasure systems will inevitably become integrated or specialized defensive platforms deployed to guard them. The "carrier killer" DF-21 system will need some type of space based targeting asset. I doubt the Navy is going to ignore it when it eventually appears. US space assets are already too important to ignore which is why you keep seeing ASAT tests from China and Russia. The "prompt and assured" space access projects from DARPA are intended as rapid replacement systems for lost satellites.
 

Triton

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"Does the U.S. Military Need a Space Corps?"

A proposal in Congress would create the first new uniformed service in 70 years, but it faces opposition from the Pentagon.

by Russell Berman Aug 8, 2017

Source:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/military-space-corps/536124/
 

Triton

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"Debate intensifies over Rogers’ Space Corps proposal"
by Mike Fabey — September 8, 2017

Source:
http://spacenews.com/debate-intensifies-over-rogers-space-corps-proposal/

WASHINGTON – With former U.S. Air Force officials demanding more time for the service to prove it is on track with space development, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) continued to argue Sept. 7 the time is now to create a Space Corps, or something akin to it.

The Air Force has had enough time to prove its mettle in space, Rogers, the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee said during a keynote speech at a Center for Strategic and International Studies conference on space organization.

“The Air Force is as fast as a herd of turtles as far as space is concerned,” said Rogers, who introduced legislation in June to create a Space Corps – a new military branch similar in structure to the Marine Corps – to focus on space operations and acquisition.

A Space Corps would be a better steward of space matters than the Air Force would be, Rogers said, because there would be no competing interests as there are now with space falling under the Air Force’s aviation-focused structural umbrella.

The Air Force’s inability to put space first has created acquisition and operational problems, he said.

“I don’t think the Air Force can fix this,” he said. “You can’t have two No. 1 priorities. The Air Force is focused on air dominance, as it should be.”

But several former Air Force officials at the conference contended the service should – and can – be the entity that controls the majority of national security space programs.

No special, separate space organization is necessary, they said. Instead, what’s needed is more time for the service to further develop and implement the recent operational concepts for warfighting in space recently detailed by Space Command.

“It is very distracting to talk about reorganizing,” said Lisa Disbrow, former Air Force undersecretary, during a panel discussion on defining problems and opportunities.

The nation already has “the world’s best space force,” she said.

Some of the space-funding problems were not of the Air Force’s making, noted Doug Loverro, who served as deputy assistant defense secretary for space policy during the Obama administration. National budgeting changes had a major impact on those programs, he said.

“After sequestration,” he said, “the space budget never recovered.”

In another keynote speech, retired Gen. Robert Kehler, the former commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said space development was derailed not by a lack of interest, but by a greater concern to battle terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Why are we behind in space?” Kehler asked. “There was a shooting war.”

While space operational and acquisition issues may continue to exist, he said, those problems can be addressed within the existing Air Force organizational structure.

“Nothing is stopping us,” he said.

“A Space Corps will not fix space acquisition,’ he said. “It will not produce more space professionals or provide more resources.”

Instead, space advocates should be focused on what he calls the “most urgent” problem: “We must prepare ourselves fight a conflict that extends into space.”

One of the ways to do that, he said, is to steal a page from the Navy. “We ought to think about space the way we do about submarines, not the Marines,” he said, noting the submarine force is somewhat of separate, special force that is still part of the Navy.

One possibility the ex-Air Force officials did say might be worth pursuing is some kind of Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) for space to streamline acquisition by giving a handful of service officials the ability to fast-track programmatic approvals.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the conference, Bill LaPlante, a former Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition, said the service used such an RCO to push through B-21 bomber decisions more quickly.
 

Triton

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US Space Corps could launch in 3 years, key lawmaker says
By: Joe Gould   February 28, 2018

Source:
https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/02/28/2021-a-space-odyssey-space-corps-could-launch-in-three-to-five-years-key-lawmaker-says/

WASHINGTON — Congress’ strongest supporters of a new Space Corps have not given up the fight, slamming the U.S. Air Force for wasted time as Russia and China pose a growing threat to America’s vital satellites.

“We could be deaf, dumb and blind within seconds,” House Armed Services Strategic Forces ranking member Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said Wednesday at a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum on space. “Seldom has a great nation been so vulnerable.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and the Corps’ biggest champion on Capitol Hill, said a space-focused service could be built in three to five years. By year’s end, Rogers, R-Ala., expects an independent report, required by the 2018 defense policy law, about how that process might look.

Rogers and Cooper argue it’s necessary for the military to have a dedicated space force because the Air Force let space capability atrophy in favor of more traditional air needs.

Rogers on Wednesday accused the Air Force of not taking space seriously enough to send a speaker to the CSIS event.

“Over the years, the Air Force has used space programs as a money pot to reach into and subsidize air-dominance programs when they feel like Congress hasn’t given them enough for tankers, fighter jets, whatever,” Rogers said. “Congress has not given any of the services enough, but that doesn’t mean you starve to death one of your subordinate missions.”

White House, Pentagon and Air Force leaders pushed back on a failed proposal from the House Armed Services Committee to create a Space Corps, arguing it would add unneeded bureaucracy. The provision faced opposition in the Senate, and the 2018 defense policy law forbids the creation of such an organization.

The law did give Air Force Space Command authority over space acquisitions, resource management, requirements, war fighting and personnel development — viewed as a start for the potential creation of a Space Corps in the future. And it requires an independent organization develop a road map to start a separate military department to encompass “national security space.”
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U.S. military officials have acknowledged that America’s adversaries have caught up to it in space, but classified reports paint a even more troubling picture, the lawmakers said. Rogers called the over-classification of such information “disturbing.”

“There would be a hew and cry in the American public to fix this situation if they knew how bad things were and what we’ve allowed Russia and China to do,” Rogers said.

The commercial sector’s ability to quickly field new capabilities in space, versus the military’s decade-long acquisition schedules, prove the case for a segregated Space Corps, with its own acquisition system, they said. Rogers said he would be open to more agile acquisition authorities for the Air Force.

“I’d be happy to, I would have liked to have had them pose that a year ago instead of fighting us,” Rogers said of the Air Force.
 

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"U.S. Air Force General: China Building a ‘Navy in Space’"
by Ben Kew13 Nov 2017

Source:
http://www.breitbart.com/science/2017/11/13/u-s-air-force-general-china-building-navy-space/

Air Force Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast has argued that China is way ahead of the United States in the race to send settlers to space, and they are currently a building a “navy in space.”

Kwast, who is the commander and president of Air University at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, said that although America remained the world’s leader in space exploration, they were beginning to fall behind China two years after they announced their cutting-edge “Space Force” plan.

“In my best military judgment, China is on a 10-year journey to operationalize space. We’re on a 50-year journey,” he told CNBC. “We could be on a five-year journey because it’s all about how aggressively we are going about this journey.”

Kwast warned that the Chinese expansion into space could present a serious national security problem, but that North Korea’s nuclear and electromagnetic capabilities were the “real problem.”

“China is working on building a ‘navy in space’ that would work even beyond Earth’s gravity,” Kwast said. “Right now, if North Korea were to launch a missile into space and detonate an electromagnetic pulse, it would take out our eyes in space.”

Kwast also criticized America’s regulation and bureaucratic procedures for slowing down the progress of America’s space programs, especially for private companies such as SpaceX, and urged authorities to “bring together the right talent to accelerate the journey.”

“You have to detail everything in your suitcase—each item’s material, manufacturer, weight and more—the government takes a year to go through it and then tells you what you can and can’t take,” he said.

“And, if you have to update your request, then you have to start all over,” he said. “When you finally get approval you have to spend your entire life savings for the airplane, which, when you land, you have to burn to the ground.”

This view is defended by Space X President Gwynne Shotwell, who said real progress can only be achieved if ” the U.S. government must remove bureaucratic practices that run counter to innovation and speed.”

In March, President Donald Trump signed a bill securing funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with the aim of sending a “crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s.”

Meanwhile, representatives of the Chinese government and the European Space Agency began talks in April regarding the construction of a possible moon base, and have also unveiled plans to land a vehicle on Mars by 2020.
 

Avimimus

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sferrin said:
No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
You know, I'd just been about to walk back my claim (in the Russian strategic moderation) about the U.S. being perceived as interested in the militarisation of space when this came out... :p

That said there are a number of DARPA and Pentagon funded documents discussing the merits, means, and possible policies for weapons in space... which is where my belief came from. I admit that there is a tendency for militaries to draw up plans without implementing them (or even intending to implement them), but it is reasonable for the public mooting of such plans to draw a reaction from other powers.

There just wasn't absolutely clear evidence of intent to carry through (I believe all of my other claims could be backed up with empirical evidence and are non-speculative).
 

sferrin

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Avimimus said:
sferrin said:
No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
You know, I'd just been about to walk back my claim (in the Russian strategic moderation) about the U.S. being perceived as interested in the militarisation of space when this came out... :p
Your claim was there were space weapons NOW.
 

bring_it_on

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Space based capability is already, and has been for a long time, used for both offensive, and defensive military operations. Multiple nations possess, or are soon going to possess, capabilities to destroy these systems during conflict. Militarization of space happened a long long time ago. Now it is just a matter of how best to better attack and defend space based capability against a peer adversary.
 

Avimimus

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sferrin said:
Avimimus said:
sferrin said:
No doubt the horse cavalry in the US Army thought the same, "Air Force....seriously?"
You know, I'd just been about to walk back my claim (in the Russian strategic moderation) about the U.S. being perceived as interested in the militarisation of space when this came out... :p
Your claim was there were space weapons NOW.
It certainly wasn't intended as that. I meant an intent to develop a capability.

To be clear, I didn't even necessarily mean a deployed capability, more along the lines of pursuing the equivalent of being nuclear latent state / nuclear threshold state, but when it comes to space-borne weapons (e.g. The U.S. has the goal of eventually being able to deploy a substantial number of FOBS or strike capable satellites within a couple of years of getting the green light).

For the record, this is what I wrote:

Avimimus said:
The United States is pursuing hypersonics, space based weapons, and pulling out of disarmament treaties.
 

sferrin

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Avimimus said:
To be clear, I didn't even necessarily mean a deployed capability, more along the lines of pursuing the equivalent of being nuclear latent state / nuclear threshold state, but when it comes to space-borne weapons (e.g. The U.S. has the goal of eventually being able to deploy a substantial number of FOBS or strike capable satellites within a couple of years of getting the green light).
There is ZERO evidence that the US intends to develop a FOBS system or nuclear-armed satellites. There is no evidence they're even researching the capability.


Avimimus said:
For the record, this is what I wrote:

Avimimus said:
The United States is pursuing hypersonics, space based weapons, and pulling out of disarmament treaties.
Again, the US is NOT pursuing "space based weapons". If it is, name the system or program. As for hypersonics, that's hardly controversial given both Russia and China are AHEAD of the US. As for pulling out of treaties I have a difficult time faulting the US for that when the other side isn't abiding by them. Why should we unilaterally hobble ourselves?
 

Triton

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I wonder if a Department of the Space Force would take over the programs of the Missile Defense Agency to develop anti-ballistic missile defense and the ground-based strategic deterrent from the United States Air Force in addition to being responsible for satellite launches and satellite defense. Further, how many journalists and laypersons had visions of Space Marines when President Trump advocated a "Space Force?"
 

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Archibald

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Who needs Shuttle noawadays, even with racing strippes ? imagine the number of laser-armed space marines a BFS could carry... (we really need a remake of Moonraker, either cheesy or serious, I don't care)
 

Foo Fighter

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More likely to be accepted for funding as cheesy, serious does not get the moolah in cinema.
 

sferrin

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Archibald said:
Who needs Shuttle noawadays, even with racing strippes ? imagine the number of laser-armed space marines a BFS could carry... (we really need a remake of Moonraker, either cheesy or serious, I don't care)
Ahem:
 

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sferrin

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Or how about a manned reusable space "fighter" stuck to the end of a Falcon 9 1st stage? Maybe a larger X-37 with enough fuel to make it the rest of the way to orbit (with the 1st stage having enough fuel to land at sea or back at the launch site), maneuver in orbit, and deorbit for a glide back to base. Would this even be possible? That is, would a Block 5 Falcon 9 have enough oomph to put something of that description where it could get the rest of the way to orbit?
 

Triton

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Archibald said:
Who needs Shuttle noawadays, even with racing strippes ? imagine the number of laser-armed space marines a BFS could carry... (we really need a remake of Moonraker, either cheesy or serious, I don't care)
Elon Musk is Hugo Drax? :eek:
 

bobbymike

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http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2018/March%202018/New-Funding-Enough-to-Counter-Space-Threats-AFSPC-Commander-Says.aspx?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=

The Air Force bolstered its space budget by 18 percent, or $7 billion over the five-year future years defense program, in an effort to increase its capabilities and ensure the United States keeps pace with other countries in space, Air Force Space Command chief Gen. Jay Raymond said Thursday.

His remarks during a brief public session of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee were questioned by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who pointed to successful Chinese test launches of several anti-satellite missiles, a development he said “fundamentally alters the strategic balance between great powers,” which has “continued to evolve in favor of China” as it has “accelerated development of space weapons.”
 

NeilChapman

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sferrin said:
Or how about a manned reusable space "fighter" stuck to the end of a Falcon 9 1st stage? Maybe a larger X-37 with enough fuel to make it the rest of the way to orbit (with the 1st stage having enough fuel to land at sea or back at the launch site), maneuver in orbit, and deorbit for a glide back to base. Would this even be possible? That is, would a Block 5 Falcon 9 have enough oomph to put something of that description where it could get the rest of the way to orbit?

That's a $60million launch, no? Maybe $18-30million if purchased in bulk?

I don't understand what the mission would be. Why a manned fighter in space, launched from the ground. If you wanted manned fighters in space would it not make sense to assemble them in space? There is so much less complexity if you remove the restrictions of getting an assembled vehicle into orbit (weight, size, shape). Why not take them up in pieces and connect the parts in space?

The hitch is getting humans into space. Neither Crew Dragon or CST-100 will fly until the end of the year. Price per launch is expected to be $654 and $405million, respectively. There doesn't seem to be any economy of scale until BFS is realized.

Interesting read...

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170008895.pdf
 

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marauder2048 said:
Sigh...in an alternate history the first brilliant pebbles that were orbited as part of GPALS would
be nearing retirement this year.

While there are countermeasures to space based interceptors they look to be pretty complex/costly.
Is there more to that "fractionated Trident" document?
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
marauder2048 said:
Sigh...in an alternate history the first brilliant pebbles that were orbited as part of GPALS would
be nearing retirement this year.

While there are countermeasures to space based interceptors they look to be pretty complex/costly.
Is there more to that "fractionated Trident" document?
There have been others in the past as well:

http://www.astronautix.com/n/n11gr.html
 

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Orionblamblam said:
NeilChapman said:
The hitch is getting humans into space. Neither Crew Dragon or CST-100 will fly until the end of the year. Price per launch is expected to be $654 and $405million, respectively.

Seemed excessive to me as well. Hope someone can tease out what factors necessitate this pricing structure. BTW...I got the pricing reversed. Should be Crew Dragon, $405M and CST-100, $654M.
 

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http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/03/pentagons-new-arms-research-chief-eyes-space-based-ray-guns/146863/?oref=defenseone_today_nl

Neutral-particle beams, a concept first tried in the 1980s, may get a fresh look under Michael Griffin.

“Directed energy is more than just big lasers, Griffin said. “That’s important. High-powered microwave approaches can effect an electronics kill. The same with the neutral particle beam systems we explored briefly in the 1990s” for use in space-based anti-missile systems. Such weapons can be “useful in a variety of environments” and have the “advantage of being non-attributable,” meaning that it can be hard to pin an attack with a particle weapon on any particular culprit since it leaves no evidence behind of who or even what did the damage.
 

Michel Van

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it's happen, Trump make his dream come true...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H51Ykdl70c
 

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And confirmed.

President Trump Calls on Pentagon to Create New Military Branch: A 'Space Force'

President Donald Trump called for a new “Space Force” to be added to the U.S. military as an armed service separate from the Pentagon’s five traditional uniformed branches.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” Trump said Monday at a White House event on space policy. “We must have American dominance in space.”
http://time.com/5314994/donald-trump-pentagon-space-force/
 

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Flyaway said:
And confirmed.

President Trump Calls on Pentagon to Create New Military Branch: A 'Space Force'

President Donald Trump called for a new “Space Force” to be added to the U.S. military as an armed service separate from the Pentagon’s five traditional uniformed branches.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” Trump said Monday at a White House event on space policy. “We must have American dominance in space.”
http://time.com/5314994/donald-trump-pentagon-space-force/
Of course, Congress already rejected this idea. The NDAA instead creates a new separate Space Command within USAF.

http://spacenews.com/space-reforms-c...u-s-air-force/

The NDAA empowers Air Force Space Command as the sole authority for organizing, training, and equipping all U.S. Air Force space forces. Air Force Space Command is made the focal point for a “space service” within the Air Force responsible for acquisition, resources and requirements.” This cadre of space “war fighters” would be tasked to fix the “systemic problems Congress identified in the national security space enterprise.”

The Air Force Space Command would be modeled after the Office of Naval Reactors, stressing deep technical expertise. The bill gives the commander of Air Force Space Command a six-year term.
 

Michel Van

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to be honest, as i heard the news, i had a laughing fit.

I wonder now, will they ripp out all Space flight activity from USAF, US Army and US Navy
and put it in US Space Force USSF ?
and were is money come to run that Force ?
probably the Budget USAF get for Space activity will transfer to USSF once there operational

and how will Russia, China and India react on that news ?

i could't not resist it, a joke about USSF...
 

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It's important to mention that Trump cannot create a new independent service on his own authority. The existing services are established under the National Security Act of 1947, and Congress would have to amend that to allow the creation of a separate United States Space Force.
 

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TomS said:
It's important to mention that Trump cannot create a new independent service on his own authority. The existing services are established under the National Security Act of 1947, and Congress would have to amend that to allow the creation of a separate United States Space Force.
Someone should probably tell him.
 

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Some interesting points raised here.

Trump: ‘We are going to have the Space Force’

Trump can order the Pentagon to create a Space Force but only Congress can make it happen.
President Trump on Monday threw a wrench into the Pentagon’s carefully laid out plans to analyze how best to reorganize the military’s space forces. In remarks kicking off a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump pointedly directed the Pentagon to create a Space Force as a “separate but equal” branch of the U.S. military.
According to sources, Trump’s remarks were not off-the-cuff. He had planned to make this announcement weeks ago, and Pentagon officials had been advised the president would be directing the creation of a Space Force at the June 18 National Space Council meeting. Trump mentioned his desire to have a Space Force at four different events in recent months, and the feedback he received was mostly positive, which motivated him to get the process started sooner rather than later.
http://spacenews.com/trump-we-are-going-to-have-the-space-force/
 
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