But analysts and former military officials say the concept of a formal Space Force and the push to establish it quickly are being driven nearly entirely by the White House and its allies on Capitol Hill, and that a skeptical Pentagon is grudgingly going along with the plan amid political pressure from the other side of the Potomac.
The Pentagon is moving ahead with President Trump's call to establish a "Space Force" as a potential sixth branch of the USA armed forces, with top officials scrambling to tamp down reports of disagreement between military leaders and the White House ahead of a high-profile speech Thursday by Vice President Mike Pence.
The president has made it a priority to "restore America's proud history of leadership in space", Pence said. "Space is essential to the nation's security and prosperity". It wasn't immediately clear whether the new force would be a component of the Air Force, as the Marine Corps is to the Navy. "And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength". Let's hope that's the branch's new motto because it's pretty much ideal.
Congress would have to approve a new military service, and lawmakers have been divided on the idea.
Pence announced the release of a Pentagon report on how to implement the president's vision.
He did, however, say the Pentagon was in "complete agreement" with the White House.
The report says the "Department of Defense will marshal space resources into a Space Force". It leaves no doubt that the Pentagon is on board with the Space Force plan despite earlier reservations.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence told a Pentagon audience that the plan fulfils U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to ensure America's dominance in space - a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested that has now become crowded and adversarial.
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Mr Pence cited the threat of China and Russian Federation as a basis for establishing the new military branch, claiming both Beijing and Moscow are "aggressively" developing anti-satellite capabilities. Things could get contentious on Capitol Hill as the Space Force issue has taken a more partisan tone. Republican U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, said the move would bolster national security.
Without any new legislation and using existing authorities, DoD will establish several of the component parts of the Space Force.
The U.S. military now has 77 satellites in orbit that could be vulnerable to potential attack from adversaries like Russian Federation and China that have taken aggressive postures in space.
He said that a new position would be created for an assistant secretary of defense for space.
U.S. Space Command will be responsible for directing the employment of the Space Force.
Congress' most ardent proponents of a separate service for space commended Pence's remarks.
The report also calls for an acquisition-focused Space Development Agency. "But we built that architecture in space at a time when it was benign".