WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s proposed Space Force would be the smallest military service — by far.

In a legislative proposal sent to Congress this week, the Pentagon estimated that Space Force would have about 15,000 people, including an unspecified number of civilians.

Currently, the smallest branch of the armed forces is the Coast Guard, which has about 40,000 active-duty members in uniform. The second-largest, the Marine Corps, has 186,000.

Details of the Pentagon’s proposal to create a Space Force were made public Friday. The plan requires congressional approval.

Critics have questioned the need to create a Space Force as a separate military service, noting that there are relatively small numbers of people required to carry out space-related missions.

The Pentagon would phase in the force starting in 2020.


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