NASA image of a galaxy

Trump announces ‘Space Force,’ a new military branch to assert America’s space ‘dominance’

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Jun 18, 2018, 4:04 PM EDT (Updated)

Look out, all you Air Force hotshots. If President Donald Trump has his way, there may soon be something flying far faster — and far higher — over your heads.

In a surprise announcement today, the President revealed that the United States will introduce and fully fund a sixth military branch as the strategic value of securing and commanding the global stratosphere increases with changing technological times. 

Dubbing the new wing of America’s fighting machine the “Space Force,” Trump merged the idea of reasserting U.S. might in space exploration with that of carving out military dominance, as international jockeying for Earth's extra-atmospheric supremacy heats up. The announcement came at a meeting with the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space," Trump said, via NBC News.

The announcement both affirms and alters the content of Trump’s previous remarks on adding space to the broad area under the U.S. military’s actionable purview. He had previously posited the idea of forming a space agency that would incorporate “portions equivalent to parts of the Air Force, Army and Navy,” NBC reports, but said in his announcement the new service will complement, not infringe upon, the Air Force’s existing role.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the space force, separate but equal,” Trump said. “It is going to be something; so important.”

The directive authorizing the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the new branch came with word that Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will oversee the creation of the United States’ newest military division. Details are still light, beyond reporting of the announcement itself, so stay tuned for emerging news in the days ahead indicating what a U.S. “Space Force” might look like.