Vice President Mike Pence (R-Ind.) promised Tuesday that the controversial proposal for a separate U.S. space force will be brought to fruition, National Defense Magazine reported.
“We are working as we speak with Congress to stand up a sixth branch of our armed forces. The United States space force will soon be a reality,” Pence said at the 2019 Satellite conference in Washington.
Pence recounted threats to U.S. space dominance including efforts by China, Russia and North Korea to jam GPS signals and communication satellites, and launch ground-based electronic attacks.
Last year the White House announced its request for unified space command similar to DOD’s Special Operations Command, but creation of a new military branch requires congressional approval.
Prior to the conference, 43 former military and intelligence leaders sent a letter to Congress in support of creating the space force, according to Politico.
The group includes former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work and retired Gen. Larry Welch, former chief of staff of the Air Force.
“We strongly encourage action to establish the U.S. Space Force, to realize the full potential of space power and space capabilities in order to protect and advance U.S. vital national interests,” the group wrote.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cheyenne Powers