The vice president told service members at the Air Force Space Command base that his visit was intended to pay a debt of honor and gratitude on behalf of the American people for their service to the nation.
“This Air Force base has really exemplified American leadership and American excellence now for more than 30 years,” Pence said. “There may not be any runways here, but every day you reach into the stars and you make it possible for your fellow warriors to be able to take the fight to the enemy with enhanced security and enhanced safety.
Guarding Nation’s Space, Cyberspace
“And you guard the nation in space and in cyberspace. You’re on the cutting edge of technology and arms and you complete the Air Force’s mission,” to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace, he noted.
Space is a priority for President Donald J. Trump’s administration and for the American people, and it will always be, Pence said in his troop talk.
“I’m pleased to report that nearly two decades after it was disbanded, in just a few short weeks the president will soon relaunch the National Space Council, said the vice president, who will chair the council.
Space: The Greatest Frontier
“The president recognizes that America needs a coherent and cohesive approach to the last, greatest frontier in history, and the National Space Council, as it has played a role before, will advise the president on both civilian and military national policy and strategy for space, and we look forward to the work of that new entity,” he said.
The council will strengthen opportunities and encourage investment at the national level, and add aspiration for Americans to look to space for careers and service, Pence said.
“And you, the men and women of Schriever Air Force Base, will play a leading role as America leads in space,” he said. “Under President Trump, your mission will be more important than ever before because this administration knows that your work, in the depths of space and cyberspace, is crucial to our security in the 21st century.”
20 Percent Increase in Air Force Space Program
Last month, the president signed a $21 billion increase in funding for U.S. armed forces, the largest investment in U.S. military readiness in nearly a decade, Pence told the troops. And the budget includes nearly a 20 percent increase in the Air Force space budget, he said, adding, “We’re going to fight to lead in space and we’re going to put the resources of the United States of America behind you.”
The airmen at Schriever have brothers-and-sisters-in-arms stationed across the wider world on the frontiers of freedom, in the mountains of South Korea, fields and forests of Eastern Europe, the deserts and valleys of Iraq and Afghanistan, and “it’s an enormous comfort to them and a great source of confidence that you’re here,” the vice president said. “[And] that your vigilance and your professionalism is here ensuring that they have the real-time information to accomplish their missions.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDOD)