Posted on December 19, 2018
The president signed a one-page document authorising the Department of Defence to create the new command which could cost as much as 800 million dollars (£632 million) over the next five years.
The goal is to set up a command to oversee and organise space operations, accelerate technical advances and find more effective ways to defend US assets in space. The American military has many satellites that are relied upon for navigation, communications and surveillance. The move comes amid growing concerns that China and Russia are working on ways to disrupt, disable or even destroy US satellites. The new order is separate from President Trump’s wish to create a Space Force as an independent armed forces branch. However, it is seen as a first step in that direction. According to one source, the Space Command will pull in about 600 staff from existing military space offices, with at least another 1,000 joining over the coming years. Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, spokesman for deputy defence secretary Patrick Shanahan, said that establishing Space Command is “a critical step in accelerating our space capabilities and posture to defend our vital national interests and deter our adversaries”. He also said the “combatant” command will “lead space operations and develop space warfighting doctrine, tactics, and techniques”.