When it comes to pen and phones, it appears nobody wields them as well as President Donald Trump. He has officially signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The NDAA, among other action items, launches the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.

In a win for Trump, the NDAA establishes Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military, with a goal of protecting U.S. assets in space from threats from Russia and China. The new service will be part of the Department of the Air Force in a structure similar to the Marine Corps’ relationship to the Navy and will be led by a four-star chief of space operations.

At Friday’s ceremony, Trump officially announced he would nominate Gen. John Raymond to be the chief of space operations. Raymond is currently the commander of U.S. Space Command.

“For the first time since President Harry Truman created the Air Force over 70 years ago – think of that – we will create a brand new American military service. That’s such a momentous statement,” Trump said. “With my signature today, you will witness the birth of the Space Force, and that will be now officially the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. That is something really incredible. It’s a big moment. That’s a big moment, and we’re all here for it. Space, going to be a lot of things happening in space.”

The U.S. Air Force, which now oversees Space Command, reports that there is a great deal of interest in the next step in the process.

Air Force officials on Friday told reporters that people are clamoring for information on how to join the military’s latest branch. The short answer is, they’re going to have to wait a while.

President Trump officially signed the Space Force into law Friday, but for now, all that means is everyone at Air Force Space Command will now be assigned to Space Force. Over the next 18 months, officials said, the finer details of manning and training the new branch will be hammered out and set in motion.

“It’s going to be really important that we get this right. A uniform, a patch, a song ― it gets to the culture of a service,” said Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond, the head of Air Force Space Command and U.S. Space Command, who will lead Space Force until a chief of space operations is confirmed by the Senate. “There’s a lot of work going on toward that end. It’s going to take a long time to get to that point, but that’s not something we’re going to roll out on day one.”

For now, the 16,000 active-duty airmen and civilians who work at Air Force Space Command will be assigned to the Space Force, but nothing else will change. Uniforms, a rank structure, training and education are all to be determined, and for the foreseeable future, Space Force will continue to be manned by airmen, wearing, Air Force uniforms, subject to that service’s fitness program, personnel system and so on.

Colorado officials are optimistic that the state will be the location of U.S. Space Force headquarters.

“With U.S. Space Command established in Colorado Springs earlier this year, and the bulk of the Space Force personnel currently serving on Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases, this NDAA solidifies our community’s position as the premier defense space community of the United States,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said in a statement.

On a personal note: My son just received his congressional nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He has a letter of assurance to the Academy, which is a conditional appointment that will be completed when the nomination is processed. I will have an official post when all the documentation is processed.

My long-term plans for his future are coming along nicely.

For those of you wishing to join the U.S. Space Force, or wishing to discover more, the official website is up and running.

 
 
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