On June 18, 2018, U.S. President Trump directed the Department of Defense to immediately begin the important process of establishing Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. “I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a Pentagon audience to announce the administration’s plans to stand up a U.S. Space Force and related organizations on Aug. 9, 2018.

VP Pence introduced by Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Credit: DoD/Screengrab

Report issued

The Department of Defense issued a report, pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, describing the following five actions that can be taken immediately to begin building the Space Force:

  • Accelerate space technology and development initiatives, which were modernization priorities laid out in President Trump’s National Defense Strategy;
  • Establish a Space Development Agency charged with developing and fielding new next-generation capabilities for national security space development;
  • Establish a Space Operations Force of professionals who will form a new community of experts working to lead America’s national security space efforts into the future;
  • Establish an operating structure and accountable civilian oversight for Space Force; and
  • Create a United States Space Command, a unified combatant command, to improve, evolve, and plan space warfighting.

Private industry

“Space is also invaluable to American private industry, which is developing revolutionary technologies that will utilize space for exploration, resource extraction, and tourism,” noted a White House statement on the Space Force.

“The time has come to establish the United States Space Force,” Pence told a packed Pentagon auditorium.

Space Force announcement at packed Pentagon auditorium.
Credit: DoD/Screengrab

The new branch will be separate from, but equal to, the five other branches, the Vice President said. “Creating a new branch of the military is not a simple process,” he noted. “It will require collaboration, diligence and, above all, leadership. As challenges arise and deadlines approach, there must be someone in charge who can execute, hold others accountable, and be responsible for the results.”

Congress: Marshal the resources

Ultimately, Congress must establish the new department, Pence said.

“Next February, in the president’s budget, we will call on the Congress to marshal the resources we need to stand up the Space Force, and before the end of next year, our administration will work with the congress to enact the statutory authority for the space force in the National Defense Authorization Act,” he said.

Final Report on Organizational and Management Structure for the National Security Space Components of the Department of Defense (August 9, 2018)

Go to:

To watch the Vice President’s Space Force speech, go to this video at:

Also, transcript of remarks by Vice President Pence on the Future of the U.S. Military in Space issued on: August 9, 2018. Go to:

Lastly, go to this policy paper:

Organizing Spacepower: Conditions for Creating a US Space Force

As well as:

Space Farce? The Challenges of Creating a New Military Department in Just 2 Years: Podcast


Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event