The Defense Department has proposed legislation that would create the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
If approved by Congress, the U.S. Space Force would be the first military service established since the Air Force stood up in 1947.
The new force recognizes how vital space is to U.S. economic prosperity and national security, Defense Department officials said. The legislative proposal follows a directive President Donald J. Trump signed Feb. 19.
DOD proposes that the U.S. Space Force initially be established as a new military service within the Department of the Air Force. In this model, the new Space Force would have a similar relationship to the Department of the Air Force that the Marine Corps has with the Department of the Navy, officials explained.
The uniformed four-star Space Force chief of staff would be granted full membership in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Additionally, the proposal calls for a new undersecretary of the Air Force for space, who would provide dedicated civilian supervision of the Space Force.
If Congress passes the proposal, the Space Force would be authorized to organize, train and equip space forces “to provide for freedom of operation in, from and to the space domain; to provide independent military options for joint and national leadership; and to enable the lethality and effectiveness of the joint force,” the proposal says.