The Trump administration is celebrating the launch of Space Force, the 1st new military service in more than 70 years.
In signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes Space Force, President Trump Friday can claim a victory for one of his Top national security priorities just two days after being impeached by the House.
It is part of a $1.4-T government spending package that provides a steady stream of financing for President Trump’s US-Mexico border fence and reverses unpopular and unworkable automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs.
Space Force has been a reliable applause line at President Trump’s political rallies, but for the military it’s seen more soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of US interests in space, especially satellites used for navigation and communication. Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday: “Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a warfighting domain of its own.” Maintaining dominance in space, he said, will now be Space Force’s mission.
Space has become increasingly important to the US economy and to everyday life. The Global Positioning System, for example, provides navigation services to the military as well as civilians. Its constellation of about 24 orbiting satellites is operated by the 50th Space Wing from an operations center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
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