Pence launches Space Force, says U.S. needs to prepare for 'next battlefield'

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday laid out details for President Donald Trump's proposed new branch of the U.S. military responsible for protecting national security in outer space.

In a speech at the Pentagon, Pence the new Space Force would be established by 2020.

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea."

He added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead."

The Space Force would ultimately become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and would be equal to the other five, Pence said. The Department of Defense has prepared a report laying out the phases of creating the new branch, which will ultimately have to be reviewed and approved by Congress.

Pence said that the Space Force would not be created from scratch, but rather re-organize existing space programs and personnel. The Space Force would initially be led by a civilian who would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, Pence said.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates. 

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