On Thursday, the United States President Donald Trump has taken a vital step towards reorganizing the armed forces to focus more on the threats pretense in space, formally launching the United States Space Command, the first new combatant command developed in more than a decade.
In a 10-minute event organized in the Rose Garden, President Trump has called the command’s creation of a “landmark moment” in protecting the nation’s assets in space and has that it would help to “defend America’s vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain, and I think that’s pretty obvious to everybody. It’s all about space.”
The White House is still functioning toward persuading Congress to create a Space Force, which would likely to become the sixth branch of the military and the first new one since the Air Force was formed in 1947.
The White House and the Senate have provisions for a Space Force in their Pentagon spending bills but they vary on several vital details, such as how the force would be planned.
In June, the Senate has confirmed that Air Force General John Raymond as the leader of Space Command. He told sources in a detailing before the event that protecting the assets of the US in space, including the satellites the military depends on a variety of things from missile defense to communications, was a significant mission of the new command.
Mr. Raymond said, “I really believe we are at a strategic inflection point, where there is nothing that we do in the joint coalition force that isn’t enabled by space, Zero.”
The United States Space Command is the 11th combatant command of America. Others comprises of geographic commands, such as Africa Command and Indo-Pacific Command, and Central Command, which oversees operations in Africa, Middle East, and Asia, and functional commands, such as Transportation Command that manages logistics across the military, and Strategic Command, which controls the nuclear arsenal. Africa Command was the most recently created in 2007.
The Space Command has counted 287 staffs assigned to it, largely comprises of those recently positioned with a unit of the United States Strategic Command dedicated to Space. John Raymond has said that the Air Force is still deciding where to locate the Space Command’s headquarters among six American bases.
The US military already had a Space Command, which was introduced in 1985 and closed in 2002 as the Pentagon has reorganized in the stir of the September 11, 2002 attacks. He further said that the latest version if a “different command built for a different environment.”
Mr. Raymond has cited advances by China and Russia that have provided space a contested domain where the US faces threats that it did not before, from the blocking of GPS and communications satellites to the option those satellites could be shot down. He also cited a 2007 test in which China used a missile fired from Earth to devastating one of its own weather satellites.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, Stephen Kitay has claimed that fighting alien life in outer space is not one the new command’s missions.
“Space Command and the United States Space Force, at the end of the day, is focused on life here on Earth, because space does impact . . . our way of war and our way of life,” added Kitay.