Trump Pushes for Creation of ‘Space Corps’

President Donald Trump is slowly promoting the idea of creating a new military force oriented on military operations in space.

The military leaders on Tuesday were surprised by Trump when he announced the possibility of a “Space Force,” adding that he is interested in putting some political capital behind the idea.

“You know, I was saying it the other day — because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space — I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force’. And I was not really serious, and then I said, ‘What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that. That could happen’,” Trump said during a speech to military personnel in San Diego.

According to The Hill, supporters of a dedicated military space arm are worried that the United States is lagging behind Russia and China, who have already made moves to spin off their space operations into separate military branches and are developing electronic warfare and anti-satellite weapons.

“Looking forward to working with [Trump] on this initiative,” tweeted Republican Representative Mike Rogers, who together with Democratic Representative Jim Cooper attempted last year to establish a space corps within the Air Force.

However, Air Force leaders are hesitant to support the idea, saying that it might be premature and add burdensome bureaucracy to the service.

The Hill reports that the Air Force chief of staff General David Goldfein and Secretary Heather Wilson sidestepped a question on Wednesday from Representative Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, about how they interpreted Trump’s remarks. Neither of them restated their opposition to a separate military branch for space.

Goldfein said he was “really looking forward to the conversation,” while Wilson said she appreciates “the President’s and the Vice President’s leadership on space.”

Wilson in a statement last year said that space corps would just “add more boxes to the organization chart,” while Goldfein said that a separate military branch for space is “moving in the wrong direction.”

Last year, the White House also rejected the space corps plan saying that making it is “premature at this time.”

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