President Donald Trump said on Thursday that space represents "a new warfighting domain" and touted his plan for a sixth branch of the military to extend America's might in the vast unknown.
"We will recognize that space is a new war-fighting domain with the Space Force leading the way," Trump told service members at the Pentagon. "My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer technology. It's ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense and obviously of our offense."
He added, "Any missile launches from hostile powers, or even from powers that make a mistake, it won't happen, regardless of the missile type or geographic origins of the attack: We will ensure that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above.”
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Last August, Vice President Mike Pence laid out details for Trump's proposed new branch of the military, which would be responsible for protecting national security in outer space. In a speech at the Pentagon, Pence said the Space Force would be established by 2020.
However, the proposal to create the new branch of Armed Forces would require congressional approval. A report released by the Department of Defense said that it would create a legislative proposal for Congress for the 2020 budget cycle.
The technology and weaponry highlighted by Pence last year and in the Defense Department report include anti-satellite weapons, which could disable or destroy satellites; technology to jam military communications; and the enhancement of radar and GPS abilities.
Trump came up with the idea last March, saying he first thought of it as a joke.
"I said, 'Maybe we need a new force, we'll call it the Space Force,' and I was not really serious," he said in a speech to service members at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California. "Then I said, 'What a great idea, maybe we'll have to do that.'"
In June, the president ordered the Pentagon to immediately begin the process of developing the idea.