1. Defense Secretary Mark Esper signing document establishing U.S. Space Command
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President: +++SOT PARTIALLY COVERED WITH BROLL+++
"The dangers to our country constantly evolve, and so must we. Now those who wish to harm the United States, to seek to challenge us in the ultimate high ground of space, it's going to be a whole different ballgame.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President +++SOT PARTIALLY COVERED WITH BROLL+++
"So, 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. The establishment of the 11th combatant command is a landmark moment."
4. Tight of Air Force Gen. John "Jay" Raymond
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Gen. John, "Jay" Raymond, First Commander of U.S. Space Command:
"Good afternoon. Mr. President, thank you for hosting us today. In doing so, you honor the airmen, sailors, soldiers and marines that secure our high ground for our nation. On behalf of those men and women, we'd like to present you with a small memento that reads "The United States Space Command establishment 29 August, 2019 on behalf of the space warfighters, thank you for your leadership."
Declaring space crucial to the nation's defense, President Donald Trump said Thursday the Pentagon has established U.S. Space Command as part of a broader effort to preserve U.S. dominance in orbit.
"This is a landmark day," Trump said in a Rose Garden ceremony, "one that recognizes the centrality of space to America's national security and defense."
He said Space Command, headed by a four-star Air Force general, will "ensure that America's dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened."
But there's still no Space Force.
Space Force, which has become a reliable applause line for Trump at his campaign rallies, has yet to win final approval by Congress.
The renewed focus on space as a military domain reflects concern about the vulnerability of U.S. satellites, both military and commercial, that are critical to U.S. interests and are potentially susceptible to disruption by Chinese and Russian anti-satellite weapons.
The role of the new Space Command is to conduct operations such as enabling satellite-based navigation and communications for troops and commanders in the field and providing warning of missile launches abroad. That is different from a Space Force, which would be a distinct military service like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Congress has inched toward approving the creation of a Space Force despite skepticism from some lawmakers of both parties. The House and Senate bills differ on some points, and an effort to reconcile the two will begin after Congress returns from its August recess.
When Jim Mattis was defense secretary, the Pentagon was hesitant to embrace the idea of a Space Force. Trump's first Pentagon chief initially saw it as potentially redundant and not the best use of defense dollars.
His successor, Mark Esper, has cast himself as a strong supporter of creating both a Space Force and a command dedicated to space.
Like other branches of the military, Space Force will be headed by a four-star general who would have a seat at the table with the other Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Initially, the opening of Space Command will have little practical effect on how the military handles its space responsibilities.
Air Force Gen. John "Jay" Raymond will serve as the first commander of U.S. Space Command. He currently heads Air Force Space Command.
At his Senate confirmation hearing June 4, Raymond made the case for changing the way the military approaches its space mission.