President Donald Trump officially revived the U.S. Space Command Thursday, a long-defunct division of the Defense Department that represents a major step toward the potential new Space Force military branch.
U.S. Space Command was originally decommissioned in 2002, but is now being revived to meet the evolving threats of America’s global adversaries. President Trump first floated the idea of Space Force in 2018, which calls for an entirely new military branch devoted to combat beyond Earth’s atmosphere, but the plan requires Congressional approval.
“As the newest combatant command, SpaceCom will defend Americas vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain,” Trump said, flanked in the Rose Garden by Vice President Mike Pence and various military officials. “Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth’s orbits with new technology, targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home.”
President Trump appointed Air Force Gen. John Raymond to lead SpaceCom, which was originally founded in 1985, but dissolved following the 9/11 terror attacks, according to Foreign Policy. Gen. Raymond told reporters that Russia and China were investing heavily in space, potentially making the environment a weakness for the U.S. (RELATED: Trump Orders DoD To Start Creating Space Force)
“We are the best in the world at space today, [but] our level of superiority is diminishing,” he said. “Space will not be an Achilles’ heel.”
The revived agency will have a closer relationship with the space agencies of global allies as well as the U.S. intelligence community, according to FP. (RELATED: Pence Explains How Space Force Will Work)
“I think the fact that we’re having a national debate on space is really healthy. Really healthy,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said when the President pushed Space Force. “We’re the best in the world at space, and our adversaries know it, and they’ve been studying us and investing in ways to take away that capability in crisis or conflict. That, to me, is the problem statement, and we as a nation cannot let that happen.”