President Donald Trump is one step closer to having his Space Force. On Thursday, August 29, Trump addressed the media during a ceremony in the Rose Garden and revived the U.S. Space Command as the 11th combatant command.
Trump’s announcement brings back the U.S. Space Command after a 17-year hiatus.
“The dangers to our country constantly evolve and so must we. Now, those who wish to harm the United States, to seek to challenge us in the ultimately high ground of space—it’s going to be a whole different ballgame,” Trump told reporters, as transcribed by The Hill.
“The establishment of the 11th combatant command is a landmark moment. This is landmark day, one that recognizes the centrality of space to America’s national security and defense.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper was also present at the ceremony, signing paperwork after Trump’s brief comments and unfurling the new Space Command flag.
“To ensure the protection of America’s interests in space, we must apply the necessary focus, energy and resources to the task — and that is exactly what Space Command will do,” Esper said. “As a unified combatant command, the United States Space Command is the next crucial step towards the creation of an independent space force as an additional armed service.”
Trump says that Space Force will soon follow as the sixth branch of the United States military.
“Spacecom will soon be followed, very importantly, by the establishment of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces, and that’s really something when you think about it,” Trump added.
Space Command was previously established back in 1985 by the Air Force “to coordinate missile defense and surveillance efforts at a time when the Cold War was again heating up.” Space Command ended in 2002. The Trump administration hopes to have a Space Force by 2020.