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Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force (USSF), unveiled the USSF’s organizational structure today. It will have three field commands and subordinate units designated “deltas” and “squadrons.” Activation of the new units will begin later this summer.
Gen. John (Jay) Raymond. Credit: U.S. Air Force
The USSF was created on December 20, 2019 as a new military service that is part of the U.S. Air Force. Raymond is Chief of Space Operations, a parallel position to the Air Force Chief of Staff, both of whom report directly to the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF).
USSF is the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947 as a separate entity from the Army. The United States now has six military services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps (which is part of the Department of the Navy), Air Force, Space Force (part of the Department of the Air Force), and Coast Guard. Their missions are to “organize, train and equip” personnel.
They are distinct from the 11 unified combatant commands that are in charge of warfighting using resources from the services. President Trump re-established the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) in August 2019 after a 17-year hiatus. Raymond is dual-hatted as Chief of Space Operations and Commander of USSPACECOM.
SecAF Barbara Barrett called today’s announcement “the most significant restructuring of space units undertaken by the United States since the establishment of Air Force Space Command in 1982.” Raymond said it “is an historic opportunity to launch the Space Force on the right trajectory to deliver the capabilities needed to ensure freedom of movement and deter aggression in, from and to space.”
The three echelons of command established today are field commands, deltas, and squadrons.
The three field commands are Space Operations Command, Space Systems Command and Space Training and Readiness Command.
- Space Operations Command (SPoC) will be the “primary force provider of space forces and capabilities for combatant commanders, coalition partners, the joint force and the nation.” Headed by a three-star general, it will be headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, CO. (An existing unit at Vandenberg Air Force Base currently named Space Operations Command will be renamed.)
- Space Systems Command (SSC), headed by a three-star general, will be responsible for “developing, acquiring, and fielding lethal and resilient space capabilities for warfighters” as well as “launch, developmental testing, on-orbit checkout, and sustainment and maintenance of USSF space systems, as well as oversight of USSF science and technology activities.” The building blocks of this new command will be “acquisition and development organizations to include the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, and program offices of space systems transferring to USSF from other DoD organizations.”
- Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM), headed by a two-star general, will “train and educate space professionals, and develop combat-ready space forces to address the challenges of the warfighting domain of space.” While awaiting complete stand up of STARCOM in 2021, a provisional Space Training and Readiness Delta will be established in July at Peterson AFB.
Deltas will be organized around a specific function such as operations, installation support, or training. Squadrons will be created within the deltas to focus on specific tactics.
Coincidentally, Space Force launched its newest GPS positioning, navigation and timing satellite today on a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was dedicated to the memory of Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of Peterson AFB, who passed away unexpectedly in May.
Similarly to #GPSIII, Col. Thomas Falzarano, Commander of @PeteAFB, served as a guiding force for Airmen across the @usairforce & @SpaceForceDoD . In May, Col. Falzarano passed away unexpectedly. To honor his service & sacrifice, today’s launch was dedicated in his memory. https://t.co/WYttYIYCpQ
— 45th Space Wing (@45thSpaceWing) June 30, 2020