Trump: Administration 'seriously thinking' about adding 'Space Force' to military

Trump: Administration 'seriously thinking' about adding 'Space Force' to military
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpPaul Ryan defends Navy admiral after Trump's criticism Trump discussing visit overseas to troops following criticism: report Retired Army General: Trump is ‘acting like an 8th grader’ in attacking ex-Navy SEAL who led bin Laden operation MORE on Tuesday said his administration is “seriously thinking” about creating a new military branch known as the “Space Force.”

“You will be part of the five proud branches of the United States Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard. And we’re actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden while presenting the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the Army football team.

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“Does that make sense?" he asked. "You probably haven’t even heard that. I’m just telling you now because we’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons. And we are seriously thinking of the Space Force."

Trump in March first pushed for the idea of creating a new military branch that would specialize in fighting and policy in space.

“You know, I was saying it the other day — because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space — I said, 'Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force.' And I was not really serious, and then I said, 'What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that. That could happen,'” Trump said during a speech at Air Station Miramar in San Diego at the time.

The endorsement was met with mixed reactions from lawmakers.

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersEarmarks look to be making a comeback Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal CIA's ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all MORE (R-Ala.), who last year led a failed effort with Rep. Jim CooperJames (Jim) Hayes Shofner Cooper16 Dems sign letter opposing Pelosi as Speaker Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal Laura Ingraham mocks Taylor Swift after Blackburn victory: '#Shakeitoff' MORE (D-Tenn.) to establish a space corps within the Air Force, praised Trump’s comments.

“Looking forward to working with [Trump] on this initiative!” Rogers wrote on Twitter.

But Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Officials overseeing elections should relinquish authority while running for office, says polling editor Rhetoric on voter fraud, suppression erodes confidence in elections, says polling editor MORE (D-Fla.) — who last year opposed establishing a space corps — has said he’s not a fan of the proposal.

“I’m not too keen on ripping space out of the Air Force and creating a space corps,” Nelson said in March.

Despite the protests, lawmakers on the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee are moving forward with a push to build up a space war fighting unit, as marked in its portion of the annual defense policy bill.

Though it would not be the separate military branch as floated by Trump, it would create a new numbered unit within the Air Force as well as a sub-unified command that would report to Strategic Command.

Air Force leaders, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisUS Customs stops traffic into country at key border point of entry Trump and Congress on collision course with military spending Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford have already opposed a similar idea. Last year, they pushed back against a plan to create a separate space corps within the Air Force, warning it would be premature and add burdensome bureaucracy to the service.