Pence outlines plan for new Space Force by 2020

Vice President Mike Pence delivers opening remarks during the National Space Council's first meeting, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The National Space Council, chaired by Pence, heard testimony from representatives from civil space, commercial space, and national security space industry representatives. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as sixth military service by 2020

Pence says it’s needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened completion and threats from China and Russia. He says that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.

President Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military’s space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service.

Any proposal to create a new service would require congressional action.