By Julia Musto | Fox News
Space Force — President Trump’s new military branch — is “very important” for the future of the United States as the world places increasing importance on “the space domain,” former NASA Astronaut Tom Jones said Saturday.
Appearing on “America’s News HQ: Weekend” with host Ed Henry, Jones said the president’s investment in this new branch is a “big shakeup.”
“I think it recognizes the importance of space to our defense,” said Jones. “It recognizes that we have these critical satellites up there that help us do intelligence gathering and reconnaissance and instant communications and getting information about early warnings…You know, launches from enemies towards us.”
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On Friday, the president signed a $1.4 trillion spending package that included the launch of Space Force — the first new military service in over 70 years.
“Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Trump said Friday during the signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
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Jones said the Space Force is designed to focus U.S. efforts on protecting the satellites and “making sure that other enemies know that they can’t get away with an attack like that without suffering themselves.”
“This recognizes that we’ve got to do more to protect our own satellites with the Space Force. And, it brings the talent together from all the military services to protect those satellites and to build the military capability to threaten an adversary’s,” he told Henry.
The program has a budget of $40 million with 200 new recruits, whereas the U.S. Army has a budget of more than $180 billion with 480,000 active-duty soldiers.
“What’s important is to bring the talent together so they can do their job with less friction and less red tape and acquire the launchers and the satellites that we need rapidly to put our assets back up if they’re ever attacked,” Jones explained.
“I think it’s very important. I think we’re going to be moving more and more importance into the space domain,” he stated. Julia Musto is a reporter for Foxnews.com