Trump Officially Launches U.S. Space Command To Maintain 'Ultimate High Ground'
August 30, 2019
President Donald Trump has officially launched the U.S. Space Command, designed to preserve the country's dominance on "the ultimate high ground."
"This is a landmark day -- one that recognizes the centrality of space to America's national security and defense," Trump said on August 29 in a White House ceremony.
Space Command will be led by four-star Air Force General John Raymond and will "ensure that America's superiority in space is never questioned and never threatened," Trump said.
Some of the specifics regarding Space Command are still to be determined.
The new command's space assets -- mainly satellites and high-altitude aircraft -- will be established as a focused theater of combat that will be the equivalent of Central Command overseeing Middle East operations and Pacific Command in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia.
The Pentagon already has a unit of the Air Force that is focused on space warfare, but the new command will raise its importance and foster specialized systems and training.
Space Command will pull about 600 staff from existing military space offices, and then add at least another 1,000 over the coming years, the AP news agency quoted an unidentified U.S. official as saying after the initial announcement.
Trump has said he sees Space Command as the first step in the creation of a U.S. Space Force, a "separate but equal" branch of the military.
Space Force has not received final congressional approval and is opposed by many lawmakers and military leaders as an unnecessary use of funding.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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