President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order calling for the creation of a U.S. Space Command in the coming days, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday.
The move falls short of creating a new branch of the U.S. military, a “Space Force,” but officials say that could be the next step.
Officials tell Fox to expect Vice President Pence to make the announcement Tuesday calling for the new U.S. Space Command in a scheduled speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA will not be part of the new Space Command, and will remain a civilian entity, officials say.
CNN was first to report the news.
Trump in March said that, "Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea. We may even have a Space Force — we have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force, you know, the Army, the Navy.”
The U.S. Air Force has operated U.S. Space Command since 1982 at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
The new command would raise its profile, putting it on par with the current combatant commands such as U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), responsible for U.S. forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and U.S. Cyber Command.
The U.S. Space Command existed in this same capacity from 1982 to 2002. After the 9/11 attacks, it was moved under U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of the U.S. military’s nuclear weapons.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.