President Donald Trump shakes hands with Gen. Jay Raymond, after signing the letter of his appointment as the chief of space operations for U.S. Space Command during a signing ceremony for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. ANDREW HARNIK/AP
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Gen. Jay Raymond, after signing the letter of his appointment as the chief of space operations for U.S. Space Command during a signing ceremony for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. ANDREW HARNIK/AP

Space Force is now an official branch of the military — but it still doesn't have its own troops

by Corey Dickstein
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force now exists, but it could be months before it has its own troops.

The sixth branch of the U.S. military became reality Friday evening when President Donald Trump signed into law the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the yearly bill that sets Pentagon policy. The NDAA directs the Pentagon to create the Space Force, which is the first new branch of service since the Air Force was carved out of the Army Air Corps in 1947.

Top Air Force officials on Friday described the Space Force’s birth as a historic moment that signaled how important space operations are to the nation. It comes at a critical time as China and Russia hone their own space abilities and close a capabilities gap in the domain that the United States has long dominated.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.612040

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