Trump to sign Space Force directive

U.S. President Donald Trump

President Trump signs Space Policy Directive 4 at the Oval Office.

President Donald Trump today signed a space policy directive that lays out further steps in the creation of the U.S. Space Force as a sixth military branch within the Department of the Air Force.

The Space Force would be the first new military branch created since the Air Force was born in 1947.

DeSantis, participating in "Space Day" events Tuesday at the Capitol, said he is requesting that a "space combatant command" as part of Space Force be located in Florida.

The Pentagon said the Department of Defense is establishing the new military branch to protect our economy, to boost national security, and to support coalition forces.

The proposal, which still would need congressional approval, comes just over two months after Trump signed a memorandum getting the process started.

Congress will ultimately have the biggest say in green-lighting and molding the new branch.

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Currently, while each of the military services has some service members focused on space capabilities, the Air Force is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of space operations and it runs 77 of the USA military's more than 100 satellites.

Goldfein said Tuesday that he sees the creation of the Space Command commander as the most important step.

President Trump had wanted an independent Space Force Department.

The Trump administration has said it plans to usher in the force by 2020.

Lawmakers and defense officials have reacted with skepticism, wary of the cost and added bureaucracy. It would instead have a Senate-confirmed undersecretary for space within the Air Force. "We chose to leverage the capabilities and the expertise that is already resident in the Air Force".

The arrangement outlined in Trump's directive would be similar to the Marine Corps' relationship to the Navy, meaning the service would have its own top general - the Space Force chief of staff - who would sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while the service would fall under the portfolio of the Air Force secretary. "The "Space Force" as a separate military service entity would still compete with all the other defense-related priorities for resources and leadership attention". "We'll focus on the headquarters functions to begin with", he said.

"Florida's growing commercial space industry provides jobs for almost 100,000 Floridians in over 470 aerospace and aviation companies that do business in the state". "I think it will be probably fairly heavy with people with advanced technical backgrounds", the official said. "We'll establish a framework in the legislative proposal and then move things gradually over a number of years". Operational authorities for space operations are managed at a strategic level like nuclear command and control. While there has been progress in answering those questions, he said more remains to be done. "We want to put more responsibilities with satellite operators, squadron commanders in the field who can take action and don't have to wait for Washington if there's an imminent threat". "But I think that would be very good for the state of Florida if we were able to get that done".

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