During an Oval Office ceremony on Friday, President Donald Trump raised eyebrows with a reference that he made in regards to the U.S. military. The ceremony was held to reveal the official flag of one of the branches, the U.S. Space Force (USSF), and while talking to the media, Trump made a reference to a "super duper missile."
According to Alex Pappas of Fox News, the president was highlighting the fact that the United States is developing "incredible military equipment."
“We have — I call it the super duper missile,” said Trump, “and I heard the other night 17 times faster than what they have right now, when you take the fastest missile we have right now,” Trump stated, and then adding, “You’ve heard Russia has five times and China’s working on five or six times, we have one 17 times and it’s just gotten the go-ahead.”
Afterwards, reporters approached White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany with questions about what Trump was exactly speaking about, but due to the complexity of military information, McEnany would direct the press to the Pentagon -- and that's where they went. Later during the day, the spokesman of the Defense Department, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, would indeed confirm that the U.S. Space Force "is working on developing a range of hypersonic missiles to counter our adversaries."
Reported by Pappas, USSF is the "first new U.S. military branch in 72 years."
President Trump would establish the USSF in 2018 after he called for "American dominance in space."
“China and Russia, perhaps others, have started a lot sooner than us, we should have started this a long time ago but we’ve made up for it in spades,” said Trump on Friday.
Technically, the U.S. Space Force is part of the Air Force, and the flag, which flies the colors of navy blue and white, features a classic symbol from the USAF: the Delta Wing. The Independent reported, “Dark and light shades of grey within the delta were incorporated in a nod to the 24/7 nature of the Space Force’s work.”
“The flag also features a globe, for the Space Force fighters’ home turf, and an elliptical orbit around the globe was incorporated to signify the force’s mission to defend and protect from adversaries and threats emanating in space,” reported The Independent. “This flag was produced by artists and crafts people at the Defense Logistics Agency flag room in Philadelphia from a design finalised and documented by the Department’s Institute of Heraldry at Fort Belvoir, Virginia."
In September 2019, CNBC reported that the United States has been building hypersonic weapons for years, and would describe the building of those weapons as the "news arms race" between the superpowers of the U.S., China and Russia.
“Currently, the Pentagon has nearly a dozen programs tasked with developing and defending against the new breed of weapons. In 2019, the Pentagon awarded two multibillion dollar hypersonic weapons contracts to Lockheed Martin,” reported CNBC. “As the world’s major powers fight to develop these new weapons, they’ll need new ways to defend against them as well. And that’s not cheap.”