WASHINGTON, USA — At the direction of the president of the United States, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper established US Space Command (USSPACECOM) August 29, 2019, during a White House ceremony as the eleventh Unified Combatant Command.
“To ensure the protection of America’s interests in space we must apply the necessary focus, energy, and resources to the task, and that is exactly what Space Command will do,” said Secretary Esper.
General John W. Raymond is its Senate confirmed commander. “The scope, scale and complexity of today’s threat is real, and it is concerning,” said Raymond. “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.”
“General Raymond is acutely aware of the vital role that space plays in US national security and our way of life and is an ideal choice to lead this new command. 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.”
“Assured access to space is vital across the full range of military operations,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. “This step puts us on a path to maintain a competitive advantage in this critical war fighting domain.”
From establishment, General Raymond will remain dual-hatted as Commander, US Space Command, and Commander, Air Force Space Command.
Establishing USSPACECOM is a critical step that underscores the importance of the space domain and its strategic contributions to US national security. The USSPACECOM establishment will accelerate the United States’ space capabilities to address rapidly evolving threats to US space assets and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from putting critical US 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 US and allied freedom of action, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined force, and develop joint warfighters to advance US 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: unifying and leading space capabilities for the Combined Force, and maintaining US 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.
“Our space capabilities underpin the security of our great nation, enable our economic prosperity, provide for our way of life, and secure our way of war,” Raymond said. “In fact, there is nothing we do as a joint and coalition force that isn’t enabled by space. Our adversaries understand this and are moving fast to develop their own robust space capabilities and to develop weapons designed to deny us the use of space and the advantage they provide.”