US Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans to create a new, separate Space Force as a sixth military service by 2020.
Mr Pence, 59, said Space Force was needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia.
AP:Associated Press Mike Pence said Space Force would be created by 2020 during a speech at the Pentagon
He added that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.
President Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force.
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganise the military’s space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive new service.
Any proposal to create a new service would require congressional action.
Getty Images – Getty US Defence Secretary James Mattis also spoke at the Pentagon
In June at a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House he said: “Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security.”
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defence and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
At the time, Mr Trump said Space Force would be “separate but equal” to the Air Force.
More to follow…
For the latest news on this story keep checking back at Sun Online.
Thesun.co.uk is your go to destination for the best celebrity news, football news, real-life stories, jaw-dropping pictures and must-see video.
Download our fantastic, new and improved free App for the best ever Sun Online experience. For iPhone click here, for Android click here.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thesun and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSun.