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Senate Armed Services Committee Recognizes Importance of Space While Offering Divergent Views on Space Force

14 Apr 2019, 14:33 UTC
Senate Armed Services Committee Recognizes Importance of Space While Offering Divergent Views on Space Force
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The Senate Armed Services Committee acknowledged April 11 that maintaining U.S. superiority in space is a national imperative but expressed skepticism that creating a Space Force as a new, sixth branch of military is the best approach for achieving that goal.The hearing was one of the first – and most high profile to date – focusing solely on the administration’s plan to create a Space Force within the Air Force as a new branch of the military to confront emerging threats in space. Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., set the tone at the outset, saying he had two primary questions: How much will the Space Force cost and how will it “fit” into the military’s larger operations, mandates and strategic goals?While Inhofe said the first question has been answered, “I’m still waiting for answers to the other question.”Indeed, questions about the Space Force’s form and function and whether it provides crucial new capabilities or duplicates existing ones dominated the two-and-a-half-hour long hearing. Those same questions are likely to dominate debate in coming months as Congress considers the issue.The hearing featured testimony from Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ...

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