President Trump Signs Directive Bringing Space Force to Life

On Tuesday, President Trump signed Space Force Directive 4, or SFD-4, to provide the official go-ahead for the creation of a Space Force. Under the directive, the Department of Defense will begin crafting a legislative proposal to establish a sixth branch of the Armed Forces under the Air Force to handle space related military activity.

President Trump has been discussing the creation of a Space Force since May 2016 and in August, the Pentagon rejuvenated the Space Command as a step toward the president’s Space Force plan. However, a full Space Force requires Congressional approval, so this week’s measure seeks exactly that.

SFD-4 calls for the Defense Secretary to establish a legislative proposal for a new branch of the Air Force, called Space Force, which will:

  • “Strengthen America’s ability to compete, deter and win in an increasingly contested domain.
  • Organize, train and equip our space warfighters with next-generation capabilities.
  • Maximize warfighting capability and advocacy for space while minimizing bureaucracy.”

Under the directive the Space Force would act as a sixth branch of the Armed Forces but be overseen by the Air Force, as the Marine Corps is overseen by the Navy.

 During the signing President Trump was joined by Vice President Pence and high ranking military officials.

President Trump said in the Oval Office before signing the directive, “Adversaries, whether we get along with them or not, they’re up in space. They’re doing it. We’re doing it. That is going to be a very big part of where the defense of our nation- and you could say offense, but let’s be nice about it and say the defense of our nation- is going to be.”

The directive also called for a “joint interagency review by the National Space Council and the National Security Council to recommend changes to space operational authorities” and for the Department of Defense to collaborate with the intelligence community to improve space capabilities and operations.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been quick to request the hub for Space Force be located in his state.

Moments after the directive was signed, Governor DeSantis tweeted to the president saying, “This is part of Florida’s history and is a logical fit for our state.”

DeSantis has also named his Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez to be chair of Space Florida and noted that “her bold leadership will lead the agency to greater heights in this exciting new age of space exploration.”

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