President Donald Trump at the White House today announced he has directed the Department of Defense to create a "space force" as an independent service branch.
A space force is designed to ensure friendly use of space and conduct of counterspace operations, care after military training missions and space warfare or any combat that may occur in space.
U.S. Space Command, under the U.S. Air Force branch, has been in control of military space operations.
The goal of a new space force is to be a separate but equal branch of the United States military, Trump said, and the U.S. will "be the leader by far" in space.
Trump framed it as a national security issue and says he doesn't want other countries leading in space, including China and Russia.
If this branch is created, it will be the sixth of the Armed Forces, joining the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
President Trump was pushing the space force idea back in early May and as far back as March.
The space force proposal by House lawmakers establishes "a subordinate unified command for space under U.S. Strategic Command that would be responsible for joint space warfighting operations. The proposal is outlined in a recent subcommittee markup of the 2019 National Defense Authoriztion Act.