On Monday, President Trump announced that he is ordering the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to work on establishing a “space force,” which will function as a “sixth branch of the armed forces.”
Speaking at the National Space Council, Trump said “We are going to have a space force,” which would be “separate, but equal” to the United States Air Force.
The president has mentioned the idea previously, having brought up the subject in May, which he has touted as an effort to prevent “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”
NEW: Pres. Trump says he is directing the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to “establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
— ABC News (@ABC) June 18, 2018
President Trump has shown repeated interest in re-establishing the United States as a world leader in space exploration, and recently stated his desire to have the U.S. “be the leader by far” in that field.
“It is not enough to have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” the president said, stressing the need to prevent Russian and China from surpassing the U.S. in outer space.