President Donald Trump officially launched the re-establishment of the U.S. Space Command, after a 17-year hiatus, as his administration focuses on concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. satellites.
“Just as we have recognized land, air, sea and cyber as vital warfighting domains, we will now treat space as an independent region overseen by a new unified geographic combatant command,” Trump said during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
The Senate confirmed Air Force four-star Gen. John “Jay” Raymond to lead U.S. Space Command this past June. He has been leading the Air Force Space Command.
The new Space Command is expected to draw on other parts of the armed forces.
“Unfortunately, our adversaries have had a front row seat into our many successes and have seen the advantages that they provide us,” Raymond said during his Senate confirmation hearing. “And, to be honest, they don’t like what they see., and they’re rapidly developing capabilities to negate our use of space and to negate the advantage that space provides.”
The US Space Command was first established i 1985. It shuttered in 2002, after government restructuring in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. The command is being viewed as precursor to the formation of the US Space Force, which will be the sixth branch of the military that Trump has promised to help create.
“The Space Force will organize, train and equip warriors to support Spacecom’s mission,” Mr. Trump said during a Rose Garden ceremony authorizing the command, which he said would assert American dominance in space “because we know the best way to prevent conflict is to prepare for victory.”
…The creation of a Space Force, which hinges on congressional approval, would further centralize and elevate the responsibility to recruit, train and equip military personnel to protect American satellites from Russia and China, which are developing antisatellite weapons. A United States intelligence threat assessment warned last year that both nations would be able to shoot down American satellites in two to three years.
Air Force Gen. John Raymond has been appointed as incoming US Space Command commander. Raymond previously led the Air Force Space Command, the similarly named division that opened in 1982 and which dealt solely with Air Force operations in space.
“There is a growing threat. The scope, scale and complexity is concerning,” Raymond said, adding that “there’s reversible jamming of GPS communication satellites. There’s directed energy threats. There’s missiles that can be shot from the ground and blow up a satellite, like was demonstrated by China in 2007. So there’s a full spectrum. We’re concerned about all of those threats.”
A Colorado congressman indicates that the initial headquarters for the new Space Command will be in his home state.
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said Wednesday the command will officially start operations at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs next month. Lamborn says he hopes the Pentagon will chose Peterson for the command’s permanent headquarters.
..Lamborn said Colorado Springs is a logical site for the new command because it’s already home to several military space operations. They include the 50th Space Wing, which operates more than 185 military satellites.
Some suggestions for US Space Command missions are already making their way onto social media.
I say we activate Space Command and nuke Comey from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. ?
— Sam Widge ? (@mongani) August 30, 2019
One of the Democratic candidates thinks its a good idea.
The US Space Command was originally established in 1985 – bringing back its independence is a good idea.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 29, 2019
I sure hope they start on that starship soon! My son is now a senior in high school.
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