Late last month, President Trump announced that he established an official Space Command, which will be known as SPACECOM.
“As the newest combatant command, SPACECOM will defend America’s vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain,” said President Trump in the Rose Garden, August 29, at a ceremony announcing SPACECOM.
“Now, those who wish to harm the United States, to seek to challenge us on the ultimate high ground of space, it’s going to be a whole different ballgame,” said President Trump.
During the ceremony, he introduced Gen. Jay Raymond, United States Air Force. The four-star general will serve as the first commander of SPACECOM.
Some of the primary directives of SPACECOM will be protecting U.S. satellites orbiting Earth and detecting missile launches from adversaries, such as Russia and China.
“So, just as we have recognized land, air, sea, and cyber as vital war-fighting domains, we will now treat space as an independent region overseen by a new unified, geographic combatant command. The establishment of the Eleventh Combatant Command is a landmark moment,” President Trump said.
There were ten combatant commands (COCOMs) prior to Space Command. These COCOMs include Central Command, Africa Command, Cyber Command, and Special Operations Command.
According to DoDLive.mil, “Each COCOM has a particular mission, and each may be involved in various operations or exercises . . . For example, CENTCOM’s area of responsibility includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and fifteen other Middle East nations located in the central area of the world map.”
Defense.gov states, “U.S. Space Command deters aggression and conflict, defends U.S. and allied freedom of action, delivers space combat power for the joint/combined force, and develops warfighters to advance U.S. and allied interests in, from, and through the space domain.”
SPACECOM is currently headquartered in Colorado Springs at Peterson Air Force Base. However, that could change in the coming months.
The U.S. Air Force is narrowing potential locations, which include four locations in Colorado, Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, and multiple locations in Florida.
There has been some confusion between Space Command and Space Force.
If created, Space Force would be an entirely new branch of the military.
Congress has yet to approve Space Force, which was met initially with resistance from both republicans and democrats.
Space Force has been gaining some traction and is expected to be a part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Many expect the Senate and House to debate this bill after their September recess.
According to Congress.gov, “The bill authorizes the Fiscal Year 2020 personnel strength for active-duty and reserve forces and sets forth policies regarding military personnel. The bill also authorizes appropriations for base realignment and closure activities.”
If Space Force is approved by Congress, it will be created similar to how the Marine Corps functions as a part of the Department of the Navy. In this case, Space Force would be established as a branch under the Department of the Air Force.
According to Gen. Raymond, if Space Force is established, it would work with Space Command much like the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps provide fighting forces for traditional combatant commands.
“Space Force would be responsible for organizing, training, and equipping warfighters specifically designed to operate in the space domain,” he said.