Pentagon chief Mattis defends his reversal on Space Force

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is satisfied that creating a Space Force as a separate military service is the right way to reorganize the Pentagon’s approach to space.

The move requires approval by Congress, and Mattis says the process will unfold in phases. He suggested there is no rush to create a separate service, even as other related steps are taken to make the Pentagon’s approach more cohesive and efficient.

Mattis spoke to reporters traveling with him Sunday to Brazil, the first stop on a four-nation tour that is his first to South America as defense secretary.

His comments about space were his first since Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday that the Trump administration would push for creation of the Space Force as a sixth, separate military service by 2020.

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