Space Command to launch August 29 as Trump’s 'Space Force' takes shape

Katie Ramirez
August 22, 2019

The US military has announced that it will launch Space Command, a new organization dedicated to space, later this month.

"Next week we will formally stand up the new unified combatant command that will be known as the United States Space Command", Vice President Mike Pence said at the sixth meeting of the National Space Council in Virginia.

The Senate confirmed Gen. Jay Raymond to lead the Space Command in June.

"The direction is clear, we understand it and we're moving out", Dunford said.

Addressing the gathering of government officials and uniformed USA troops, Pence said that their "commander in chief is going to continue to work tirelessly toward this goal, and we expect you all to do the same". The new free-standing military department would contain its own chain of command and uniforms, and would pool the knowledge and resources of space experts from across the armed services spectrum.

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Eventually, the command could bring as many as 1,450 personnel, including 390 military officers, 183 enlisted personnel, 827 civilians and 50 contractors to Redstone, which is home to the Missile Defense Agency, Army Aviation and Missile Command and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

A first U.S. Space Command was established in 1985 but then merged with U.S. Strategic Command in 2002 following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Establishment of the Space Command is an interim step in building a military-branch level Space Force, which must be approved by Congress. Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal is on the Air Force Secretary's short list of six potential homes of the Space Command.

The Trump administration seeks to create a Space Force as a separate entity in the Air Force as a first step toward eventually breaking it out a new department.

Breaking Defense reported that Space Command will have the authority to direct the National Reconnaissance Office to implement "defensive space operations" should conflict arise in space.

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