President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper look on as the flag of the United States Space Command is unfurled in the Rose Garden of the White House. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump announced the official establishment of the U.S. military's Space Command on Thursday.
Space Command will become the 11th combatant command, which will draw forces from other military branches to defend U.S. interests in space, which Trump declared "the next warfighting domain," during the announcement in the Rose Garden at the White House.
"Those who wish to harm the United States, to seek to challenge us in the ultimate high ground of space, it is going to be a whole different ballgame," Trump said.
Trump said the new SPACECOM will defend against threats to American satellites as well as detecting and destroying missiles launched against the United States.
"Just as we have recognized land, air, sea and cyber as vital warfighting domains, we will now treat space as an independent region overseen by a new unified geographic combatant command," Trump said.
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said that SPACECOM chief Gen. Jay Raymond will inherit 87 units covering "missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support.
The command is also expected to include nearly 700 personnel drawn fro, the U.S. Strategic Command.
Trump said the creation of SPACECOM will "soon be followed" by the establishment of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
"The Space Force will organize, train and equip warriors to support SPACECOM's mission," he said.