Vice President Mike Pence detailed the Defense Department's plans - outlined in a 15-page report to Congress - to stand up a presidentially mandated Space Force during at an August 9 Pentagon media briefing.
But just a year ago, Mattis voiced skepticism on the need to create a separate Space Force.
The Pentagon can help make all this happen but only Congress is capable of creating a new branch of the military, which is something that hasn't happened since the Air Force became its own branch in 1947.
The Defense Department will establish a sixth branch of the armed forces, the U.S. Department of the Space Force, by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday. Congressional support will be needed to complete this mission, according to CNN.
"Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America's best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation", said Pence.
Its creation however is not a done deal, as it needs to be approved by Congress, and the concept has met with some skepticism from lawmakers and defense officials wary of the cost and added bureaucracy.More news: Doom Eternal Gameplay Shows Off Devastated Earth, Deeper Story
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"I don't think it's necessary", former astronaut Scott Kelly told CNN Thursday.
Shortly after Pence s speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"
PENCE: Russia's been designing an airborne laser to disrupt our space-based system, and it claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid-flight to destroy American satellites.
"Our administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by the year 2020", Pence added.
"This new command ... will establish unified command and control for our Space Force operations, ensure integration across the military, and develop the space warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures of the future", he said. Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence and other services vital to the military and the national economy. Military leaders and experts have questioned the wisdom of launching an expensive, bureaucratic new service branch.
It would be led by a civilian who would report to the Secretary of Defense.
- As a first step, recommend to President Donald Trump that he approve creation of a U.S. Space Command by the end of this year. The campaign also said it would sell branded merchandise about the Force. It also oversees Air Force cyberwarfare. A full-fledged space force would cost significantly more, but no one knows how much yet.