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U.S. SPACE FORCE FACT SHEET
The U.S. Space Force (USSF) is a new branch of the Armed Forces. It was established on December 20, 2019 with enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be stood-up over the next 18 months. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the
Secretary of the Air Force
has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance and direction of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, a four-star general known as the
Chief of Space Operations
(CSO) serves as the senior military member of the USSF. The CSO is a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.
Office of the Chief of Space Operations
The Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, serves as the principal uniformed adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force on Space Force activities. The CSO presides over the Office of the Chief of Space Operations, transmits plans and recommendations to the Secretary of the Air Force and acts as the Secretary's agent in carrying them out.
Space Force Organization
The USSF Headquarters and Office of the CSO are located in the Pentagon, just like the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. This staff will focus on establishing a fully-functioning headquarters; preparing to execute the full scope of its organize, train, and equip responsibilities; and, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, developing a detailed plan to transfer forces into the U.S. Space Force. As a new military service, the U.S. Space Force will leverage the Department of the Air Force for more than 75 percent of its enabling functions to significantly reduce cost and avoid duplication. The Department of the Air Force will provide support functions that includes logistics, base operating support, civilian personnel management, business systems, IT support, audit agencies, etc.
Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was redesignated as the USSF as an initial step in establishing the USSF. Military members that were assigned to AFSPC have now been assigned to the USSF but remain Airmen within the U.S. Air Force. Appropriate Air Force space-related personnel will transfer into the Space Force and become Space Force service members in a deliberate manner over the next 18 months. Over time, the Department of Defense (DOD) vision is to consolidate space missions from across the Armed Forces into the USSF, as appropriate and consistent with law.
The new, independent U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge of the DOD in space while adapting to new strategic challenges.
Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of DOD, NASA and commercial space launches. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects
continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning.
Ground-based and space-based systems monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. A global network of space surveillance sensors provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect U.S. space assets from hostile attacks.
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.
(Current as of 20 Dec 19)