Defense Secretary and a 2019 Wash100 winner Mark Esper on Thursday officially unveiled U.S. Space Command as the 11th unified combatant command led by Air Force Gen. John Raymond.
“Gen. Raymond is acutely aware of the vital role that space plays in U.S. national security and our way of life and is an ideal choice to lead this new command,” Esper said in a statement published Thursday.
“Establishing the United States Space Command as a unified combatant command is the next critical step towards the creation of an independent Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” he added.
President Donald Trump ordered the establishment of the new command to ensure U.S. superiority in space. In his remarks at the White House Tuesday, Trump said the Space Force will support SPACECOM’s mission by organizing, equipping and training warfighters.
The new command will employ assigned forces from various service branches to win fights in space and deliver combat power through the use of communications, navigation, early missile detection and warning, intelligence and other space capabilities, according to a White House fact sheet.
Vice President Mike Pence and Pentagon officials announced the scheduled launch of SPACECOM’s operations during the National Space Council’s meeting on Aug. 20.