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Jim Mattis: "I was not against the deployment of a Space Shuttle"



(BRAZIL, Brazil) – US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Sunday he was satisfied that creating a space shuttle as a separate military service was the right way to reorganize the Pentagon's space approach.

Mattis, who was against it last year He tried in Congress to create a separate space service, said his focus then was to find a consensus on the Pentagon's space problem before suggesting a way to solve the problem , He told reporters traveling to Brazil with him about his first trip to South America As defense minister, "What I was against hastened to do that before we could define the problem" that needed to be resolved.

That's why he pushed back against congressional efforts to create a space shuttle. In a letter to rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican, wrote in July 201

7 to Mattis: "I do not want to add a separate service that would probably represent a closer and even parochial approach to space operations."

Mattis & # 39; s Comments Sunday was his first ever since Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday that by 2020, the Trump government would push the creation of the Space Shuttle as a sixth separate military service. The Pentagon will initially set up a space command to oversee and coordinate space operations, a space development agency to accelerate the development and deployment of space technologies for the military. It will also build a larger number of soldiers and female soldiers with experience in space operations.

"We are in favor of war-fighting capabilities organized according to the presidential agenda," Mattis said, referring to President Donald Trump's June statement that the Pentagon should begin creating a space shuttle that was "separate but." equals "like the Air Force, which currently manages most space operations of the military.

Mattis said he had discussed this with Trump and Pence since the first month of the government.

Critics of making space a separate branch of the military say it would bring more bureaucracy and cost. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said on Thursday that the Pentagon did not know how much it would cost, but that it would cost billions.

Shanahan said the Pentagon will submit a Space Shuttle legislative proposal early next year as part of its budget bid for 2020.

Mattis was in Brazil to discuss a range of defense issues, including threats to mutual security. Later in the week he will first be visited in 2005 by a US Secretary of Defense in Argentina. He will also visit Chile and Colombia.


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