“We just returned from the Oval Office and so it is my honor, on behalf of the President of the United States, to announce that henceforth, the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as guardians,” Pence said at an event celebrating the Space Force’s first year.
Pence opened his remarks on Friday by bringing greetings from President Donald Trump, calling him the “founder of the United States Space Force” who has “been an enthusiast” of the service since he conceived of the idea.
Trump had no other events on his schedule that conflicted with this event taking place on White House grounds, so it’s not clear why he didn’t attend, though the public schedule doesn’t include all of the President’s activities. The White House did not respond to CNN’s inquiry as to why Trump didn’t participate in the event.
The vice president said the Space Force has grown stronger by the day since it was founded, and praised Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond for his work leading the service. Pence also noted that Col. Mike Hopkins, currently aboard the International Space Station, transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force earlier on Friday.
“Today we make history, with the first two installations in the history of the United States Space force to bear the name of this new branch of the service,” Pence said at Cape Canaveral at the time.
The two bases will now be referred to as Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base.