In a surprise announcement today during a meeting with the National Space Council, President Donald Trump directed the Department of Defense to establish a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces.

“We are going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the Space Force, separate but equal,” the President said. “It is going to be something so important.”

Interestingly, the meeting with the Council was not intended to cover the topic of a Space Force, but was instead meant to discuss space traffic management.

Trump really seems to want the US military in space. He first proposed the idea of a Space Force this March. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was in stark opposition to the President, writing that it would create more overhead and Pentagon bureaucracy.

The Air Force already controls American national security interests in space under the Air Force Space Command. This command was actually activated in 1982, and focuses on supervising American space launches and controlling government satellites.

Despite this, Trump framed American space exploration as “not just a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security.” The President added that the initiative was “[s]o important for our military, so important, and people don’t talk about it.”

Fortunately, a president cannot simply create a new branch of the military, according to experts. In addition, Senator Bill Nelson tweeted:

The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want. Thankfully the president can’t do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake.