Pence’s statement, centered on the whys of the idea, was followed by an official press release from the White House, detailing the hows of the Force’s creation.
First, the vice president says the creation of this branch is required because Russia and China have been investing heavily in the creation of space-based or space-bound weapons, including anti-satellite missiles (China), anti-satellite lasers (Russia) and hypersonic missiles (both).
First, says the administration, the new Force has to be free of the bureaucracy that has plagued space exploration in past decades. For this to happen, only one entity will be in charge with the development and fielding of the Force’s capabilities, the soon-to-be created Space Development Agency.
The U.S. will also create only one “civilian position, reporting to the Secretary of Defense, to oversee the growth and expansion of this new branch of service.”
The men and women who will be included in the new Force will be taken from “our nation’s space programs” and included in a Space Operations Force and a United States Space Command.
The next step for the creation of the Force is to ask Congress for money. Pence says the administration will do so next February when the President will submit the budget.
The addition of a new branch to the U.S. military marks the first time in over 70 years when such an event takes place. The most recent part of to the armed forces roster was the Air Force. Despite being founded in 1907, it became a self-sustaining branch only in 1947.
“This is the moment. Now is the time to act quickly, using all the tools at your disposal to lead our nation forward with President Trump’s vision to meet the challenges that lie ahead," the vice president said.
"There is much work to do. Success will demand the very best of each of you. So be bold, be creative, unencumbered by the past or the status quo.”
Below you can find both the White House statement and a transcript of Mike Pence’s remarks.