US President Donald Trump has officially launch of Space Force, the first new military service in the USA in more than 70 years. In signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes Space Force, Trump claimed a victory on Friday.
Space Force is one of his top national security priorities. It is part of a $1.4-trillion government spending package — including the Pentagon budget. The budget also provides a steady stream of financing for the US-Mexico border wall.
“The Force is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
Space Force has been a reliable applause line at Trump’s political rallies. However for the military it’s seen more soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defence of US interests in space. Especially satellites used for navigation and communication.
Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space
“Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a warfighting domain of its own,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the Associated Press.
Maintaining dominance in space, he said, will now be Space Force’s mission.
Space has become increasingly important to the US economy and to everyday life. The Global Positioning System (GPS), for example, provides navigation services to the military as well as civilians. Its constellation of about two dozen orbiting satellites is operated by the 50th Space Wing. From an operations centre at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
Pentagon Raises China, Russia Concerns
In a report last February, the Pentagon asserted that China and Russia have embarked on major efforts to develop technologies that could allow them to disrupt or destroy American and allied satellites in a crisis or conflict.
“The United States faces serious and growing challenges to its freedom to operate in space,” the report said.
When he publicly directed the Pentagon in June 2018 to begin working toward a Space Force, Trump spoke of the military space mission as part of a broader vision of achieving American dominance in space.
Trump got his Space Force, which many Democrats opposed. But it is not in the “separate but equal” design he wanted.
President Trump also said its leader will be Air Force Gen John Raymond, the commander of US Space Command.
Space Force is the first new military service since the Air Force was spun off from the Army in 1947. Space Force will be the provider of forces to US Space Command. A separate organization established earlier this year as the overseer of the military’s space operations.
The division of responsibilities and assets between Space Force and Space Command has not been fully worked out.
The Associated Press