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The email came as Vice President Mike Pence appeared at the Pentagon to hail the proposed Space Force. "And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength".

The Space Force will be a separate military branch that requires congressional approval.

Pence outlined a series of steps the Pentagon will undertake ahead of the creation of Space Force.

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

He noted that the Defense Department will appoint a civilian to the new assistant defense secretary for space post to manage the space force's expansion efforts and report to the DoD secretary.

"I don't think it's necessary", former astronaut Scott Kelly told CNN Thursday.

House armed services committee leaders Mike Rogers (Republican) and Jim Cooper (Democrat) said in a statement in response to Pence's remarks, "We have been warning for years of the need to protect our space assets and to develop more capable space systems. The only person you hear promoting this is the president, so it'd be nice to get a little more of a buy-in from the experts and it doesn't seem like we have that".

Shortly after Pence s speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

"For many years, nations from Russian Federation and China to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communications satellites via electronic attacks from the ground", Pence said. China and Russian Federation have tested weapons that could be used for that goal: China destroyed one of its own satellites in a 2007 test, and Russian Federation revived its defunct space force in 2011. Further balkanization of the armed forces will only delay getting to where the Nation needs to be with respect to the security challenges of space.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has been among the skeptics who worry that a new branch of the military would create unnecessary and wasteful layers of bureaucracy while reducing rather than encouraging cooperation between existing branches.

On Tuesday, however, Mattis expressed full support for creating a new US Space Command.

BRUMFIEL: President Trump suggested moving all that into a new sixth branch of the military back in June.

Opinions on the Space Force in Congress have been divided.

Create a new Space Development Agency to develop new space capabilities.

"We need to address space as a developing, war-fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can establish", he said.


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