With President Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, he created the newest and sixth branch of the military — the first since the last branch, the US Air Force — was formally established in 1947.
Gen. John Raymond, the commander of US Space Command and Air Force Space Command said of the historic birth of the new Space Force now in effect: “The law states that Air Force Space Command will be re-designated the United States Space Force, that will happen immediately,” he said at the Pentagon.
He indicated that 16,000 active duty airmen and civilians currently serving in the Air Force Space Command will be assigned to the just established Space Force. From there, it will begin to get slowly up and running as its own branch.
“There’s not a really good playbook on, how do you stand up a separate service?” Gen. Raymond pointed out. “We haven’t really done this since 1947.”
“It’s going to be really important that we get this right. A uniform, a patch, a song ― it gets to the culture of a service,” he said. Raymond has been tapped to head the Space Force until a chief of space operations is confirmed by the Senate.
Meanwhile the Air Force Times obtained some of the specifics going forward:
Without sharing details of the plan, a senior Air Force official said on background, because he was not authorized to speak on the record, there will be 30, 60 and 90-day benchmarks to meet. Where it took three years to stand up the Air Force, he said, the Space Force hopes to be off and running in 18 months or less. That includes, he added, sending a four-star officer to represent the service on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The new command’s social media and recruitment efforts were fast up and running:
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 21, 2019
The White House is touting it as a history making win. “For the first time since President Harry Truman created the Air Force over 70 years ago — think of that — we will create a brand-new American military service. That’s such a momentous statement: 70 years ago, the Air Force,” President Trump said in his NDAA signing ceremony remarks on Friday.
“It’s a big moment. That’s a big moment, and we’re all here for it. Space. Going to be a lot of things happening in space,” Trump added.
“Because space is the world’s newest warfighting domain. Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough,” the president said.
“The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground,” Trump said.