President Donald Trump signed the $738 billion defense bill into law last week, which includes funding to create the sixth branch of the military – the U.S. Space Force.
“Today [also] marks another landmark achievement as we officially inaugurate the newest branch of the military [United States Space Force], this is a very big and important moment,” Trump said last week at Andrews Air Force Base. “There are grave threats to our national security. American superiority in space is absolutely vital. The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground.”
It is the first new branch of the military since 1947.
“We are at the dawn of a new era for our Nation’s Armed Forces. The establishment of the U.S. Space Force is an historic event and a strategic imperative for our Nation. Space has become so important to our way of life, our economy, and our national security that we must be prepared as a Nation to protect it from hostile actions,” Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper said. “Our Military Services have created the world’s best space capabilities. Now is the time for the U.S. Space Force to lead our Nation in preparing for emerging threats in an evolving space environment. This new service will help ensure we are postured to deter aggression, defend our national interests, and outpace potential adversaries.”
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said space has become far more congested and crowded with other nations and commercial interests actively operating in space. The Space Force will support national security and focus on other factors as well, such as cell phone service, GPS, and data transmission.
“The U.S. Space Force will help the DoD meet the challenges of the future security environment,” the Department of Defense said in a statement. “Space is integral to national security and our way of life, and this service will posture us to compete, deter, and win in an era of great power competition. By creating a new, separate service with a dedicated purpose, the United States will maintain space superiority, even as space becomes more crowded and contested. The new defense law also directs that the Space Force “shall provide the freedom of operation in, from, and to space, while providing prompt and sustained space operations.”