Trump was joined by Vice-President Mike Pence, who leads the recently revived space council, as well as several Cabinet members, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, retired astronauts and scientists.
Trump tells military members at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, California that space is a war-fighting domain. What the space force actually means is anyone's guess, but Trump described the space branch of the military as "separate but equal" to the Air Force.
President Donald Trump has officially ordered the Pentagon and the Department of Defense to create a new, sixth branch of the us military that will be known as the "Space Force". "And we are seriously thinking of the Space Force".
"We must have American dominance in space", Trump said.
- The Latest on President Donald Trump announcing new "Space Force", other space initiatives.
The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. He framed the undertaking as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". The policy calls for providing a safe and secure environment up in orbit, as satellite traffic increases. He also vowed to return the United States to the moon soon, and to reach Mars.
"I am a big believer you will go out there and take that frontier, which is largely unknown, by man or woman, and you will learn everything there is to know about it, and what you are doing is so important", Trump said. It also sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation, to avoid collisions and spacecraft break-ups.
The decision was not mentioned during a pre-meeting briefing for reporters by Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the space council, or in fact sheets shared with the media.
The announcement comes three months after Trump first floated the idea, sparking some ridicule over the notion of soldiers in space. "We can't allow that to happen in the U.S. Not on my watch".
The Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents has come under increasing scrutiny from both sides if the aisle.