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USSF History

While the launch of the U.S. Space Force propels the United States into a new era, the Department of the Air Force has a proud history and long-standing record of providing the best space capabilities in the world. 

On Sept. 1, 1982, the Air Force established AFSPC, with space operations as its primary mission. Cold War-era space operations focused on missile warning, launch operations, satellite control, space surveillance and command and control for national leadership. In 1991, Operation DESERT STORM validated the command's continuing focus on support to the warfighter through the use of GPS to enable the famous “Left Hook,” proving the value of space-based capabilities.  

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the president directed military action against Afghanistan and Iraq. AFSPC provided extensive space-based support to the U.S. Central Command commander in areas of communications; positioning, navigation and timing; meteorology; and warning. In 2005, the Air Force expanded its mission areas to include cyberspace. In concert with this, the Air Staff assigned responsibility for conducting cyberspace operations to AFSPC through Twenty-Fourth Air Force, which was activated in August 2009. 

In July 2018, the Air Force cyber mission transferred to Air Combat Command, which generated the greatest capacity for an integrated Information Warfare capability within the Air Force. This move allowed AFSPC to focus on gaining and maintaining space superiority and outpacing our adversaries in the space domain. 

With the enactment of the FY20 NDAA, AFSPC was re-designated the U.S. Space Force on Dec. 20, 2019, granting Title 10 authorization to the U.S. Space Force, established under the Department of the Air Force.