An Air Force white paper says current space forces are inadequately resourced for the strategic competition that the United States faces in space.
It has been a turbulent few days in the Air Force since Secretary Heather Wilson announced she will be stepping down to become president of the University of Texas El Paso.
Lawmakers are raising concerns about the cost and the rationale for a Space Force.
The Pentagon justifies increased spending on space as necessary to ensure “unfettered access to and freedom to operate in space."
The first step will be to get congressional authorization and $72 million in 2020 to stand up a Space Force headquarters under the Department of the Air Force. The headquarters initially would have about 200 people.
Lawmakers have asked DoD to explain why a U.S. Space Command and a Space Force are needed at the same time.
The Pentagon is moving to establish U.S. Space Command to take over warfighting responsibilities while the procurement of equipment and services would be handled by the Space Force, under the Department of the Air Force.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein: "There are a thousand decisions that have to be made."
DoD Space Force proposal seeks special authorities to transfer people and programs from other services
The Pentagon would ask Congress to approve “special temporary authorities” for the secretary of defense to transfer resources from other services to the Department of the Air Force and the Space Force.
SPD-4 gives the Pentagon the official go-ahead to send a proposal to the White House recommending the establishment of a separate military branch for space.
DoD memo: The 2020 budget is a “starting point." The budget plan does not include “mission growth that may be needed to meet the evolving threat.”
For the first time Shanahan confirmed that the Pentagon is proposing to establish a Space Force within the Department of the Air Force.