Space has often been called “the final frontier.” During a visit late last year by Vice President Mike Pence to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he referred to the U.S. Space Command as a critical portion of this country’s armed forces. Prior to the launch of the Vespucci third-generation GPS (GPS III) satellite, during a Dec. 18 visit to the Florida facility, Pence referred to Space Command as a work in progress that will integrate many different military space capabilities from all branches of the military. “It will serve alongside other functional commands like Strategic Command and Special Operations Command, and it will be led by a four-star flag officer,” he said. “It will establish unified control over all our military space operations.”
Pence called the U.S. Space Command the U.S. military’s 11th unified combatant command. “It will develop the space doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures that will enable our warfighters to defend our nation in this new era,” he noted. It would become the sixth branch of the armed forces in the future, with the current (Trump) administration working with Congress to establish a working U.S. Space Force before the end of 2020.