The 11th warfighting command under the military shall function with the aim to protect and defend the space domain. Just like the confidential military space data, the operations and functioning of the U.S. Space Command will be kept a secret
Fremont, CA: U.S. President Donald Trump's move to set up and activate U.S. Space Command has been hailed by many as a necessary decision to warn all those who question U.S. dominance in space. Air Force Gen. John Raymond will lead the unified combatant command as commander of the U.S. Space Command. The 11th warfighting command under the military shall function with the aim to protect and defend the space domain. Just like the confidential military space data, the operations and functioning of the U.S. Space Command will be kept a secret.
The U.S. Space Command was first established in 1985. However, it was merged with U.S. Strategic Command in a post 9/11 realignment of military resources. While this may seem like a reactivation of the command, officials pointed out that the U.S. Spcaecom much different from its predecessor. It has been 17 years since the first U.S. Space Command was shut down, and things have changed rapidly. There is an increased dependency on satellites for every aspect of military operations. China and Russia's development of electronic and kinetic weapons is a worrisome factor for the U.S. government as it poses a threat to the U.S. satellites present in space. Under the U.S. Strategic command, the primary focus is of nuclear deterrence, which would leave space without an adequate amount of attention. U.S. Spacecom, on the other hand, gives top priority to space.
Here are three interesting facts about the U.S. Spacecom
Spacecom Established, not Operational
Commander Raymond has been authorized to build roughly a 300-personstaff at U.S. Space's temporary headquarters at Preston Air Force base, Colorado. Currently, Air Force Gen. John Raymond, is the second in command at the U.S. Spacecom. The organization will be supported by two on-field organizations; a Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and a Joint Task Force Space Defense (JTF-SD) at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The CFSCC is currently tasked with overseeing over 70 Air Force, Army, and Navy space units and ensures space capabilities such as GPS navigation and satellite-based communications are available to the U.S. commanders and its allied nations. The JTF-SD is a new organization that operates along with the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Classified National Space Center. It will be in charge of identifying potential threats and preparing the options to defend satellites if they come under attack.
Working with Allies, in a Classified Way
Both the on-field teams for Spacecom are combined teams. Commander Raymond also seems to have been emphatic about building and improving partnerships with allies. Previously, the CSpOC was known the Joint Space Operations Center and was changed to Combined Space Operations Center, keeping the allies in mind. Partner nations with a permanent presence at the CSpOC include Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The 2018 space warfare planning effort called Operation Olympic Defender has also been transferred to the U.S. Spacecom. The United Kingdom was the first country to join this mission then.
The Pentagon is often criticized for keeping threats as classified. According to Raymond, it is essential that the U.S. government makes its enemies aware of its capabilities and does not hold every information classified. The U.S. Spacecom will require the ability to discuss threats more openly in order to tackle the problem.
U.S. Spacecom vs. U.S. Space Force
The Spacecom is not the same as the Space Force, although the Trump administration is pushing for the establishment of the latter. There has been a lot of misconception that both the Space Force and the Spacecom are one entity. As a result, a large part of the Pentagon's outreach was towards explaining the difference between the two.
The U.S. Spacecom is a combatant command which is in charge of preparing all military operations in space. It is supported by service members, drawn mostly from the Air Force, Army, Navi, and Marine Corps. The Space Force will be set up as a service division under the Air Force Wing. The U.S. military shall provide the combatant commanders with the required weapons to be battle-ready.