WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The Senate Armed Services Committee held its first official hearing on President Trump’s “Space Force” proposal.
The Space Force proposal has come up in various hearings, but Thursday’s hearing is the first dedicated to the issue.
The final proposal calls for Space Force to remain under the Department of the Air Force in a structure similar to the Marine Corps’ relationship to the Navy.
Thursday was a who’s who of Pentagon brass facing a committee with skeptics on both sides of the aisle.
Many questioned whether creating a new branch of the military is the best way for the Pentagon to improve its operations in space and better compete with Russia and China.
Commander of U.S. Strategic Command John Hyten stated, “Space is fundamental to our economic vitality and the American way of life including how we conduct warfare. Certainly, our adversaries understand this and are actively building and deploying weapons to threaten us in space. We must take these actions seriously.”
The Pentagon has requested an initial $72.4 million for fiscal 2020 to set up the Space Force’s headquarters and is projecting it will cost a total of $2 billion over five years to set up the service.