President Donald J. Trump (White House Official Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Friday, December 20, in a ceremony held at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, President Donald J. Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (S.1790), officially inaugurating the United States Space Force.

The Space Force becomes the 6th branch of the U.S. Military, the first created since 1947 when the U. S. Air Force was established.

Although discussion of an independent Space Force started as early as 2001, the idea began moving forward rapidly when, in March, 2018, President Trump first spoke publicly about it.

According to the Air Force Times, it will take about 18 months for the Space Force to be fully up and running, including the addition of a four-star general representing the Space Force to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Outlining the steps to be undertaken to make the Space Force fully operational, Meghann Myers, writing in the Air Force Times, said, “For now, the 16,000 active-duty airmen and civilians who work at Air Force Space Command will be assigned to the Space Force, but nothing else will change. Uniforms, a rank structure, training and education are all to be determined, and for the foreseeable future, Space Force will continue to be manned by airmen, wearing, Air Force uniforms, subject to that service’s fitness program, personnel system and so on.

Meanwhile, U.S Space Command, which stood up in August, will continue to exist as a combatant command, similar to Cyber Command, Special Operations Command and others.”

For the text of President Trumps remarks at the signing ceremony creating the U.S. Space Force, see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-signing-ceremony-s-1790-national-defense-authorization-act-fiscal-year-2020/

To read the Air Force Times article by Meghann Myers on the creation of the U.S. Space Force, see:

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-military/2019/12/21/the-space-force-is-officially-the-sixth-military-branch-heres-what-that-means/

 

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