President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike R. Pence, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, and U.S. Air Force General John W. “Jay” Raymond formally established the United States Space Command during a ceremony held on August 29 at the White House.
At the direction of the President of the United States, the Department of Defense (DoD) established U.S. Space Command today as the 11th Unified Combatant Command, with Raymond as its congressionally confirmed commander. Establishing USSPACECOM is a critical step that underscores the importance of the space domain and its strategic contributions to U.S. national security. The USSPACECOM establishment will accelerate the United States’ space capabilities to address rapidly evolving threats to U.S. space assets and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from putting critical U.S. space systems at risk.
The president’s National Security Strategy and the National Strategy for Space highlight space as a strategic domain, and the United States must earn and maintain space superiority. USSPACECOM’s establishment will modernize and enhance our approach to space from a domain of an unchallenged environment to one of a warfighting domain.
The USSPACECOM mission is to deter aggression and conflict, defend U.S. and allied freedom of action, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined force, and develop joint warfighters to advance U.S. and allied interests in, from, and through the space domain. The command will be postured to protect and defend, while increasing joint warfighter lethality by executing two primary missions focused on 1) unifying and leading space capabilities for the Combined Force, and 2) maintaining U.S. and Allied advantages in space through protection and defense.
USSPACECOM is a Geographic Combatant Command with a global Area of Responsibility defined as the area surrounding the earth at altitudes equal to or greater than 100 kilometers above mean (average) sea level. The new command is globally integrated with the other geographic combatant commands and prepared to support its partners to meet today’s threat on a global scale.
From establishment to full operational capability, General Raymond will remain dual-hatted as the commander of Air Force Space Command and U.S. Space Command.
General Raymond said that the scope, scale and complexity of today’s threat is real and it is concerning. The establishment of a Combatant Command solely focused on the space domain, demonstrates the United States’ commitment to protecting and defending its space assets against that threat. He added that space capabilities underpin the security of the U.S., enable the nation's economic prosperity, provide for the nation's way of life, and secures the U.S. way of war. In fact, he added, there is nothing USSPACECOM can do as a joint and coalition force that isn’t enabled by space. The nation's adversaries understand this and are moving fast to develop their own robust space capabilities and to develop weapons designed to deny the U.S. the use of space and the advantage such provides. By establishing the United States Space Command, which is singularly focused on that warfighting domain, a very clear message has been sent to the world that the United States and the nation's allies will not assume away space superiority.