The U.S. will aim to create a Space Force, as a sixth branch of the military, by 2020, Vice President, Mike Pence said on Thursday, conceding the plan still required the agreement of Congress and a budget.
Pence said the initial request would be for eight billion dollars over five years to be included in the 2020 defence spending budget.
He said the administration was working with the Congress on legislation.
“We must have American dominance in space and so we will,’’ Pence said.
He laid out what the U.S. perceived as threats from Russia and China, who are developing new weapons for use in space.
“What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial.
“Peace only comes through strength.
“In the realm of outer space, the U.S. Space Force will be that strong in the years ahead,’’ Pence said.
The Department of Defence Plan calls for the establishment of a Space Development Agency, a Space Operations Force and a Space Command, copying existing services of other branches.
One of the key functions of the new branch would be to aid U.S. forces on the ground and the air force, giving them combat superiority.