CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION — On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence heads to the Pentagon where he is expected to once again call for the formation of a sixth military branch that is dedicated to cosmos: Space Force.
- Critics worry about another military branch
- U.S. Air Force handles space missions
- President Donald Trump proposed Space Force back in June
Critics are concerned about another military branch as they say the U.S. Air Force already handles America's security and surveillance in space.
However, the vice president is ramping up the pressure and making the case for the Space Force.
President Donald Trump back in June proposed a new branch of the military.
"We're going to have the Space Force," he said, but since then, there has been push back.
Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson tweeted at the time: "Now is not the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake."
The U.S. Air Force already operates missions in space. Take for example its X-37B space plane. Its purpose in space right now is top secret.
However, it is not enough, according to the White House and that is why Pence is headed to the Pentagon.
His visit coincides with the release of a Department of Defense report to Congress, recommending an organization and management structure of space components for the department.
On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the Pentagon is prepared to bolster the U.S. war-fighting efforts in space.
"We are in complete alignment with the president's concern about protecting our assets in space it contributes to our security, to our economy and we're going to have to address it as other counties show a capability to attack those assets," he said.
A leaked draft of the DOD's report showed the Pentagon planned to elevate Space Command to a major combatant command.
"What that actual organization will look like, it will be fit for purpose is what I can assure you but I don't have all the final answers yet. We're still putting that together," said Mattis.
The recommendations would not call for establishing a separate Space Force military branch, as that would require action by Congress. Just last week, Congress approved a $716-billion defense bill and nowhere in it does it include funding for a new Space Force.