THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 9, 2018
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.” – President Donald J. Trump
BUILDING SPACE FORCE: President Donald J. Trump and his Administration are laying the groundwork to build Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States military.
o On June 18, 2018, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to immediately begin the important process of establishing Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
o The Department of Defense issued a report, pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, describing the following five actions that can be taken immediately to begin building the Space Force:
- Accelerate space technology and development initiatives, which were modernization priorities laid out in President Trump’s National Defense Strategy;
- Establish a Space Development Agency charged with developing and fielding new next-generation capabilities for national security space development;
- Establish a Space Operations Force of professionals who will form a new community of experts working to lead America’s national security space efforts into the future;
- Establish an operating structure and accountable civilian oversight for Space Force; and
- Create a United States Space Command, a unified combatant command, to improve, evolve, and plan space warfighting.
DEFENDING AMERICA’S INTERESTS: President Trump knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity, and is a vital domain for national defense.
o With Space Force as a sixth branch of the United States military, America’s interests in space will receive the focus and investment that the domain deserves.
o As the world’s space development leader, the United States relies on space for everything from popular commercial systems to critical military and intelligence systems.
o Space is also invaluable to American private industry, which is developing revolutionary technologies that will utilize space for exploration, resource extraction, and tourism.
o Unfortunately, potential adversaries recognize the importance of space to our country and are actively developing ways to deny our use of it in a crisis.
o The Director of National Intelligence has warned that multiple countries, including Russia and China, are developing both destructive and nondestructive antisatellite weapons that could come online within a few years.
o The United States national security community recognizes the necessity of developing new technologies for space to defend against an increasing array of threats.
LEADING INTO THE FUTURE: Under President Trump, America is reclaiming its heritage as the world’s greatest space-faring Nation and is leading space development into the 21st century.
o President Trump has signed three Space Policy Directives in the last year, each of which strengthens our economic prosperity and national security.
o In 2017, President Trump established his National Space Council, a body of senior officials charged with developing modern policies for commercial and international space utilization.
o On March 23, 2018, President Trump announced his National Space Strategy, which recognizes that America’s competitors have turned space into a warfighting domain, and charts a whole-of-government approach to maintaining America’s leadership in space.