US Space Command Re-Launches
US Department of Defense Re-Establishes U.S. Space Command
At the direction of the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper established U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) today as the eleventh Unified Combatant Command, with Gen. John W. Raymond is its Senate confirmed commander.
“To ensure the protection of America’s interests in space we must apply the necessary focus, energy, and resources to the task – and that is exactly what Space Command will do,” said Secretary Esper. “Gen. Raymond is acutely aware of the vital role that space plays in U.S. national security and our way of life and is an ideal choice to lead this new command. Establishing the United States Space Command as a unified combatant command is the next critical step towards the creation of an independent Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
“Assured access to space is vital across the full range of military operations,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. “This step puts us on a path to maintain a competitive advantage in this critical war fighting domain.”
From establishment, Gen. Raymond will remain dual-hatted as Commander, U.S. Space Command, and Commander, Air Force Space Command.
US Space Command (USSPACECOM) was originally created in September 1985 to co-ordinate the use of outer space by the United States Armed Forces, but was shut down in 2002 as the US re-focused on counter-terrorism and homeland defence in the wake of 9/11.
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law in 2018, directed the re-establishment of U.S. Space Command as a sub-unified combatant command under U.S. Strategic Command; however, in December 2018, the Trump administration directed that U.S. Space Command be re-established as a full unified combatant command, with full responsibilities for space warfighting held under U.S. Strategic Command. The US Air Force continues to have its own Space Command.
The new website https://www.spacecom.mil appeared to be down at the time of writing.
Image: U.S. Army and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan waves as he is photographed during a Aug. 21, 2019 Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), also known as a space walk, to install the International Space Station’s second commercial crew vehicle docking port, the International Docking Adapter-3. (Photo Courtesy NASA/Astronaut Nick Hague)