President Donald Trump signed his fourth space policy directive yesterday, the new directive aims to create a new Space Force which the president has been talking since last summer.
The new policy directive will make the Space Force a sixth branch within the US Air Force, rather than its own independent department.
Trump wants to create a space force to protect satellites, tackle vulnerabilities in space and assert US dominance in orbit.
After signing the directive Trump told the reporters: “We have to be prepared, My administration has made the creation of a space force a national security issue.”
Trump first directed the Department of Defense to establish the Space Force in June 2018 in a surprise announcement during a meeting of the National Space Council.
At the time, he argued that the organization would be a new, sixth branch of the military. “We are going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the Space Force, separate but equal,” Trump said at the time. “It is going to be something so important.”
Now creating a new military branch ultimately requires legislation from Congress, and many lawmakers have expressed their opposition to setting up an independent Space Force.
Now after months of discussion within the Pentagon, the Trump administration is proposing to initially create the Space Force within the Air Force instead, similar to how the Marine Corps is operated out of the US Navy.
The directive calls for the creation of a new position, a Space Force undersecretary, who will report to the secretary of the Air Force, according to an early draft of the directive obtained by Space News.
However according to the draft, the administration hopes that this will be the first step toward creating a separate Space Force branch at some point.