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Patrick Shanahan: ‘Space Force’ Needed to Ensure US Supremacy in Space

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Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said the creation of a “space force” as the sixth service branch is “absolutely necessary” to ensure the country’s superiority in space, Defense.gov reported Wednesday.

“The U.S. military is the best in the world in space, but our adversaries have taken note and are actively developing and fielding capabilities to potentially deny our usage of space in crisis or war,” he said Tuesday during the National Space Council’s fourth meeting at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

He mentioned the Defense Department’s plan to submit in the coming weeks a legislative measure to establish the space force and efforts to form a space development agency.

“The effort now is on reconciling capabilities prioritized by the National Defense Strategy with the readiness of technology, anchored by our assumptions on how quickly we can scale,” Shanahan said of the new agency.

Vice President Mike Pence hosted the meeting, where he delivered a speech about the space force’s role in addressing the lack of accountability and centralized leadership over national security space programs.