Eli Ridder| Report
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to form a so-called “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the United States military on Monday, a concept he first mentioned in March when he called space a “warfighting domain”.
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space – we must have American dominance in space”, Mr. Trump said to a meeting of the recently revived U.S. Space Council.
“I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as a sixth branch of the armed forces”.
The addition of a sixth armed service branch to the U.S. military would be the first in 71 years, with the U.S. Air Force being the nation’s youngest branch after being added shortly after the end of World War II.
Trump has floated a space force for the U.S. military as part of his national security strategy since he spoke to it on Mar. 13, saying “space is a warfighting domain, just like the air, land and sea.”
The announcement came a surprise during the meeting where the NSC was set to release its first comprehensive space traffic management policy, and slightly contradicts the Defence Secretary Jim Mattis’ opposition to a new space branch.