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Why Boeing’s CEO of Defense Takes Trump’s Idea of a Space Force Seriously

October 3, 2018, 11:52 PM UTC

When earlier this year the Trump Administration began talking about creating a Space Force—a military branch that does battle in space—the idea made for good fodder for late night television.

But Leanne Caret, CEO of Boeing’s defense, space, and security division, takes it very seriously and commends the administration for bringing up the topic.

“It’s a conversation we’ve been needing to have and is a reality of the world we live in,” she said, speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit on Tuesday in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Caret told the audience that there has long been a “presumption that is uncontested” that there would never be warfare in space. “But the reality is our adversaries are very keen on what’s happening in space,” she noted.

Caret pointed to cell phones as an example of our vulnerability, saying that if a GPS satellite was taken out we would lose our ability to get to where we need to go—and, she joked, that some of us wouldn’t know exactly where we are. “It will alter our life as we know it,” she said. And even more critically, she said, it could seriously impact the movements of U.S. military servicemen and servicewomen.

For more on Caret, read “Commanders in Chief: The Women Building America’s Military Machine.”