Air Force leaders sent a message to airmen late on June 19 confirming plans for a new Space Force and said they agreed with President Donald Trump’s position that the U.S. military must meet current and future challenges in space.
Trump signed an executive order on June 18 that directed the Department of Defense to create a Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. This was a break from former proposals, which included the creation of a “space corps” as a branch of the U.S. Air Force.
According to Military.com, the message confirming Trump’s plan was sent to all airmen from Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.
The message read, “The president’s statement to the National Space Council adds emphasis to the Air Force position—space is a warfighting domain and the entire national security space enterprise must continue to enhance lethality, resilience and agility to meet the challenge posed by potential adversaries. We look forward to working with Department of Defense leaders, Congress, and our national security partners to move forward on this planning effort.”
They noted that airmen should not expect things to change immediately, that the creation of a Space Force will be “a thorough, deliberate and inclusive process,” and that as things move forward, the focus of the Air Force “must remain on the mission as we continue to accelerate the space warfighting capabilities required to support the National Defense Strategy.”
When Trump signed the executive order for the new military branch on June 18, he said, “The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers. But our destiny beyond the Earth is not just a matter of national identity, but also a matter of national security.”
“When it comes to defending America, it’s not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Trump said.