With a wave of his pen, President Donald Trump signed the Space Force into being on Dec. 20.

“This is a very big and important moment,” Trump said during a Friday ceremony at Joint Base Andrews where he signed off on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which establishes the Space Force as a sixth military branch under the Department of the Air Force.

“Space — there’s going to be a lot of things happening in space, because space is the world’s newest warfighting domain," he said. “America’s superiority in space is absolutely vital and we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, but very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”

Gen. John Raymond, who currently leads U.S. Space Command, will lead the Space Force as its first chief of space operations, Trump announced. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett — who is dual-hatted as the civilian leader of the Space Force — said that the establishment of the Space Force marked a “historic moment” for the U.S. military, and that the Defense Department is moving forward to stand up the new service.
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