Could Space Force Be New Branch of US Military?

The Pentagon’s report on how to structure its space components, including the potential creation of a Space Force or Space Corps, will not be submitted to Congress in time for Wednesday’s deadline.

“We are in the final coordination stages of the report to Congress,” Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said Tuesday. “We will release the report when coordination is complete, which we anticipate will be soon.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a Space Force as a new military branch that would be “separate but equal” to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Lawmakers in the House Strategic Forces subcommittee, however, have expressed interest not in the creation of a new branch, but in the creation of a new Space Corps within the Air Force.

The report was ordered by Congress after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sent a letter to congressional leaders opposing the creation of a new military branch. In his letter last October, Mattis said he did not see the need for new “organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”

The deadline for the Pentagon’s space review is Wednesday, but an official told VOA the report should be ready “in days.”

A draft report seen by Defense One said the Pentagon was prepared to create an 11th unified combatant command by the end of the year to focus on space. U.S. Space Command would be set up similarly to U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees special forces from various military branches, and U.S. Cyber Command, which oversees cyberspace operations across the military branches.

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