AP NEWS

Pentagon’s Space Force blueprint hits Capitol Hill

February 28, 2019

The Pentagon’s highly-anticipated blueprint for the Trump administration’s proposed Space Force is now in the hands of congressional lawmakers, who remain divided on whether to back the White House-led effort.

Defense Department officials on Thursday submitted the Space Force road map to Capitol Hill with little fanfare, which reportedly includes policy details and projected budget figures for the new Space Force for the coming fiscal year and beyond. Defense One first reported details of the Space Force plan’s delivery to Congress.

In conjunction with the submission of the new Space Force plan, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has also created a new U.S. Space Force Planning Task Force, responsible for “key phases of transition from pre-establishment through full operational capability” of the new service branch, Defense One reports.

Earlier this month, Mr. Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, which orders the Department of Defense to devise a budget for the new Space Force that can be included in Mr. Trump’s fiscal 2020 request to Congress.

The new force would have a new civilian undersecretary position for space, to be appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.

Mr. Trump last year suggested the Space Force would be a sixth branch fully on par with the Navy, Army or Air Force. Yet the proposal ran into opposition on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers criticized the change as expensive and unnecessary. For now, the new force will be run within the broader Air Force, akin to the Marine Corps’ status under the Navy.