Space Force announces Integrated Mission Delta construct to optimize for Great Power Competition

  • Published
  • By SAF/PA Staff Writer
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman announced two new Integrated Mission Delta provisional units, scheduled to activate in Fall 2023.

IMDs will integrate resources around mission areas (e.g., satellite communication; positioning, navigation, and timing, electronic warfare, missile warning) instead of the traditional functional model (e.g., operations, acquisitions, intelligence, cyber effects) in place today. This new command structure will organize all aspects of mission area readiness – personnel, training, equipment, and sustainment – into a single organization.

The first two provisional IMD units will support electromagnetic warfare and positioning, navigation, and timing mission areas and align under Space Operations Command. These IMDs will combine force elements in Space Operations Command that perform mission generation, intelligence support, and cyber defense with program offices in Space Systems Command that oversea maintenance activities.

“Performance should be optimized around our missions rather than the functions that support them; we cannot afford to split a mission area’s critical activities across organizational seams,” Saltzman said. “It is essential that all elements of readiness - people, training, equipment and sustainment - fall into the same organizational structure, and that we create unity of command around those elements at the lowest possible level.”

This announcement comes after Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s comments in a recent memo to the Department for the need to optimize the force to address the current strategic environment.

“Over more than two decades, we have optimized to support post-9/11 conflicts and demands; this is not what the nation needs for the coming decades of strategic competition,” Kendall stated in the memo.

Prototyping of IMDs is part of the Space Force’s effort to transition from simply establishing a new service to forging a service purpose built for great power competition. The goal is to create unity of command for readiness while also streamlining unity of effort for capability development.

“We are going back to basics and creating the structure and processes we will need to be successful in this new era.” Saltzman said.

This concept will be thoroughly evaluated and refined before it is considered for implementation across the force. This initial effort will not involve the physical relocation of personnel and it will not change the core missions of SpOC or SSC.