Trump to sign Space Force directive

President Donald Trump hands a pen to Air Force Gen. Paul Selva after signing

President Donald Trump hands a pen to Air Force Gen. Paul Selva after signing"Space Policy Directive 4 on Feb. 19 2019

After meeting with several members of his cabinet Tuesday, the president signed the 'Space Policy Directive Four, ' which will lay the foundation for the so-called Space Force.

A man wearing a Space Force shirt documents the scene before a campaign rally with President Donald Trump at the Bojangles Coliseum on October 26, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Vice President Mike Pence, who's been a leading figure on the space program, couldn't agree more.

A Pentagon spokesman, Charles E. Summers Jr., said that in coming weeks the Defence Department will submit a legislative proposal to Congress that authorises the establishment of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the US military.

Initially, the White House had sought to create a Space Force as a brand new branch of the military, equal in standing to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. It would not have its own full-blown bureaucracy, including a civilian secretary.

Wilson also objected to moving military space activities from the Air Force.

It would be the first new uniformed military service since 1947, when the Air Force was created after World War II.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said he will formally ask the president to locate the department's unified combatant command for space at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. But the idea encountered resistance both inside and outside the administration among those who questioned the need and the potential costs.

Other prominent lawmakers have signaled they have yet to make up their minds about a Space Force. He has since resigned.

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If they get their way, Space Command would join Central Command, Southern Command and Special Operations Command as the fourth combatant command in the state. Senate support is less clear but seems likely to swing in Trump's favor.

"Space, that's the next step and we have to be prepared", Trump said Tuesday according to WSJ.

Last year, then Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan had focused on internal Pentagon reform and issues like the creation of a Space Force, an initiative that met with resistance from some lawmakers and others in the Pentagon. Shanahan has not shifted from the path that was set before Mattis resigned, and has stressed his interest in keeping the Space Force as economical as possible.

Patrick Shanahan, now acting secretary of defense and then-deputy secretary, said a year ago the force could have an initial budget of less than $5 billion.

"There are much better ways to protect satellites", said Laura Grego, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution Tuesday morning, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein confirmed reports that Trump will sign Space Policy Directive 4.

Cost estimates were not provided Tuesday.

The move appears to mark a rhetorical and political compromise: While the Trump administration will continue to call the new service the Space Force, it will more closely resemble a previous proposal on Capitol Hill for a smaller Space Corps that does not have a new, separate service secretary appointed by the president.

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