"Today marks a landmark achievement as we officially inaugurate the newest branch or our military, the U.S. Space Force," said Trump.
Reps. Jim Cooper and Mike Rogers were the original proponents of a space service. It was not Trump's idea.
NDAA conference agreement establishes U.S. Space Force, directs major overhaul of space acquisitions
The NDAA also establishes an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy as the senior civilian in the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett: "It is time for us to move forward with the Space Force.”
HASC Chairman: Legislation to create a Space Force in 2020 ‘still possible but by no means guaranteed’
Chairman Adam Smith said House-Senate divide is deepening over the establishment of a Space Force
There are lingering concerns about the potential cost of a new military branch.
The White House is unhappy with the Senate language because it doesn’t give DoD full legal authority to establish a space service.
Sen. Jack Reed: “I think within a year, next year at this time, we’ll have a Space Force."
Whatever the final language that comes out of conference, it will likely not include many of the items that DoD has asked for.
The House and Senate voted in support of a space service to be nested inside the Air Force, but much still remains unresolved.
Proposed changes to the National Security Space Launch program that Smith introduced in the HASC version of the NDAA made it into the House bill.
White House challenges HASC Space Corps language, strongly objects to space launch provisions in NDAA
On the National Security Space Launch program, the administration “strongly objects” to HASC language “as it would increase mission risk for the nation’s national security satellites.”
Air Force officials see growing support for space on Capitol Hill and DoD despite ongoing leadership changes.
Smith so far has not been happy with the Air Force’s response to his concerns about the launch program.
The amended language retained two key provisions that help SpaceX and Blue Origin, and removed two others that were opposed by ULA.
A bipartisan amendment to strike Smith’s space launch provisions is expected to be offered by Colorado lawmakers Lamborn and Crow.