President Launches America’s Space Force

Credit: Matt Wade

White House Press Release

“Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security.”

FORMING SPACE FORCE: To safeguard American dominance in space, President Donald J. Trump is working to form a Space Force as a sixth branch of the Armed Forces.

  • President Trump has received six recommendations, unanimously approved by his National Space Council, regarding the establishment of the United States Space Force.
  • The six recommendations presented to the President call for:
    • Forming a United States Space Command to control our space forces and develop the tactics, techniques, and procedures for military space operations.
    • Establishing the Space Force as a separate and distinct branch of the military whose mission will be to organize, train, and equip combat space forces.
    • Calling on Congress to authorize the establishment of a Space Force and provide funding for the United States Space Command.
    • Launching a joint review by the National Space Council and National Security Council of existing space operational authorities for meeting national security objectives, informed by DOD’s assessment of the authorities required.
    • Creating a Space Development Agency to ensure Americans in the Space Force have cutting-edge warfighting capabilities.
    • Creating collaborative mechanisms with the Intelligence Community to improve unity of efforts for the development of space capabilities and operations.

PREPARING FOR THE THREATS OF THE 21ST CENTURY: President Trump is preparing our military to protect against the wide range of challenges we face today, including in space. 

  • Space is now recognized as a warfighting domain and the United States must be prepared to meet the emerging threats we face in this new battlefield.
  • Recognizing this, President Trump is taking action to ensure that the American military is equipped to protect our Nation and preserve our freedom to operate in, from, and to space.
  • The recommendations follow the President’s direct call for the formation of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.
    • On June 18, 2018, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as a new military branch

RENEWING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IN SPACE: President Trump is keeping his promise to restore America’s legacy of leadership in space

  • President Trump has signed three space policy directives to restore and revitalize America’s space program. These directives will:
    • Reorient our space program toward human exploration of deep space.
    • Unleash the power of America’s commercial space enterprise.
    • Protect our vital space assets by improving space traffic management.
  • In June 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reviving the National Space Council for the first time in nearly a quarter century.
  • President Trump unveiled the National Space Strategy in March of 2018 to prioritize American strength and competitiveness in the space environment.

  • Tom Billings

    They’ve put out their general shopping list in this. It does *not* include NRO, thank goodness. Until Space Force gets its own feet underneath it, it should not be bent so much to the policy focus of NRO, at the expense of serving the tactical needs of the military services. In another 5 years it can be ready to start on orbital BMD, and in 10 years be ready to start on building a more flexible shop to inform National policy.

    They also make it obvious they don’t want to build the hierarchy first and the networks later, but rather build the productive networks’ reinforcements and expansions, and support those through a minimalist hierarchy. If they can actually do this, and be effective at it, then they will have performed a good service to the Republic. Execution will be the clue to making this work.

  • mike shupp

    The USA doesn’t have the capability yet to launch astronauts into near earth orbit, let alone to the Moon or Mars. We’re certainly not going to send settlers. But we will be sending troops, gobs of troops to wage combat in outer space.

    Uh-huh.

  • duheagle

    Gonna have to disagree anent NRO. Space Force will inevitably subsume NRO. Best do it as early as possible so as to: 1) minimize time available for the hard cases there to gin up effective opposition, and 2) have NRO on the inside pissing out instead of on the outside pissing in.

  • Tom Billings

    ” But we will be sending troops, gobs of troops to wage combat in outer space.”

    Why do you think that is what a Space Force is about? Current MilSpace activities are about the “force multiplier” effects for our Earth-based forces, through satellites helping navigation be precise, and gathering imagery, and allowing secure communications.

    The major reasons adduced for having a Space Force is the activities of the PLA’s “Strategic Support Force”, stood up for space warfare and cyber warfare, and its test activities. Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Force and its “Space Troops” are testing their ability to stalk other nations’ satellites. The first 10 years of it are likely to be done from the ground, and the numbers that leave after that will be mostly confined to operators of Space Force assets.

  • mike shupp

    Well, I made a crappy comment. or better, I made a sarcastic comment that points to my unhappiness with this discussion because I couldn’t quite figure out how to express myself succinctly. So I’ll try again:

    More or less, we know what armies do, we know what navies do, in 1947 we had reasonable notions of what an air force might do. A “space force”, on the other hand, is a much more amorphous thing — we don’t have operational concepts in mind, we we don’t have a handle on how large it might grow, or how it’s going to fit into our overall military establishment, or how it’s going to interact with the rest of the American economy. Remember, we’ve been shrinking the percentage of GNP spent on the military since Nixon days. We ought to be doing some serious thinking before we leap off into the unknown, and it doesn’t strike me the Trump administration has really been doing this. Mike Pence’s adulation of Donald Trump’s strategic genius doesn’t do it for me.

    Other hand, you at least seem to some notion of what such an organization might be aimed at initially and some concept of how it might develop over time, and I thank you for your thoughts. I’d rather have you running things than Pence.