Home / News / Mike Pence Unveils Plans to Form New Combatant Command, Service Branch for Space

Mike Pence Unveils Plans to Form New Combatant Command, Service Branch for Space

Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans to establish by the end of the year a new space-focused military command that would be headed by a four-star general, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The plan includes the formation of a new “space force” as the country’s sixth service branch as early as 2020 in response to threats posed by potential adversaries, Pence said in his speech Thursday at the Pentagon.

A senior official at the White House said the administration plans to work with Congress to introduce by early 2019 a bill that would set up a new military department.

Defense News reported the proposed “space operations force” will offer space expertise to the space combatant command in times of conflict.

Pence said a new space development agency will be established to serve as a joint acquisition arm for space platforms and advance technology development through experimentation and prototyping efforts.

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.

“This leader will be key to a critical transition to a fully independent secretary of the space force,” Pence added.

The announcement came days after Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the Pentagon is supportive of a plan to form a new space-centric combatant command.

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