Trump taps Air Force general to lead US Space Command

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has nominated U.S. Air Force General John “Jay” Raymond to lead the U.S. Space Command, a new combatant command that will oversee the military’s missions and war fighting in space.

The latest revelation comes as the Pentagon works to lay the groundwork for Trump’s proposed Space Force, a new sister service branch that would stand alongside the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. However, the creation of a sixth military branch, the first in 72 years, is dependent upon congressional approval.

Unlike the creation of a Space Force, the Pentagon can establish a U.S. Space Command without input from lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is asking for $ 14.1 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget request to fund space operations. The $ 14.1 billion would allocate funding to several national security programs, from satellites to missile warning systems. Of the total, about $ 1.6 billion will fund improvements to space-based missile warning capabilities, a missing link in America’s layered missile defense system.

The Air Force is also seeking $ 72.4 million to establish a headquarters for Space Force.

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