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Space Force proposal submitted to Congress

Pence says Space Force to launch this year

More details about the Pentagon's newest branch of the armed services are being released Friday. The Defense Department has submitted a proposal to Congress for the Space Force, the sixth military service and the first new service since the Air Force was created 70 years ago. Congress must first approve the proposal before the plans can proceed.

The Space Force proposed by the Trump administration would be composed of 15,000 men and women within the Air Force, but they would be led by a four-star general who would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Nothing will really change in space, just here on the ground, where the Space Force will have a headquarters staffed by 900 personnel and costing about $500 million annually. The Pentagon spends much more than this on space, but the $500 million represents the overhead cost of creating a new service. 

Vice President Mike Pence told an annual conference of conservatives Friday that before the year is out, the Space Force will launch

"Before the year is out, President Trump will launch the sixth branch of our armed forces, the United States Space Force," Pence said to applause at CPAC. "Under this commander-in-chief, we'll make sure that America is as dominant in space as we are on land and air and sea."

In June last year, the president directed the Pentagon to establish the Space Force, which would oversee the role of space in U.S. military operations -- providing satellite-based intelligence, secure communications, weather forecasting and weapons command and control. 

Protecting these space-based assets also is critical, given the development of anti-satellite weapons by China and Russia.

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