Space Force, paid parental leave signed into law

Tim O'Donnell

Space Force is really happening.

President Trump on Friday signed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $738 billion compromise defense policy bill that establishes Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military and gives federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave, among several other provisions.

The bill took months to finalize thanks to debates about Trump's border wall plans, which eventually took a hit in the end — the Trump administration won't be able to move Pentagon funds to cover the wall's construction. Still, Trump treated the bill as a victory, touting both Space Force and parental leave.

"Space, going to be a lot of things happening in space," Trump said.

But don't expect major changes to the military, despite the new branch. Around 16,000 active duty members of the Air Force Space Command will be assigned to Space Force to get it up and running, though they'll officially remain in the Air Force, CNN reports. Eventually, 5,000 to 6,000 of those members will be transferred to Space Force, and the total number of personnel could reach 15,000, which is pretty slim compared to the other branches. "Space Force is much more measured by the technology and the capabilities," Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said. Read more at The Hill and CNN.

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