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Trump Officially Establishes US Space Command, Accompanied By Awkward Website

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Trump Officially Establishes US Space Command, Accompanied By Awkward Website

The flag of USSPACECOM. Click to see full-size image

On August 29th, US President Donald Trump, alongside Vice President Mike Pence announced the official establishment of the US Space Command.

This was a follow up on a December 18th memo in which Trump instructed the US Department of Defense the reestablish USSPACECOM, which was active between 1985 and 2002. It will focus on the protection of U.S. space assets and to strengthen the military’s posture in space as adversaries develop more advanced anti-satellite weapons.

“SPACECOM will boldly deter aggression and outpace America’s rivals,” Trump said. “Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home. Our freedom to operate in space is also essential to detecting and destroying any missile launched against the United States.”

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and USSPACECOM Commander Air Force General John “Jay” Raymond were also in attendance. Army Lt. Gen. James Dickinson was selected to be deputy commander of USSPACECOM, but is still unconfirmed by the US Senate.

Space has become a “vital domain” that is critical to the nation’s security and economy and is no longer a benign environment, Raymond said.

The command will have a “sharper mission focus on protecting and defending space assets, will have a stronger unified structure with our intelligence partners and a closer connection to partners and other U.S. warfighting commands,” he said. “Our goal is to deter conflict. The best way is to prepare to fight if deterrence were to fail.”

China and Russia currently are regarded as the most likely to pose a threat to U.S. satellites because of their rapid advances in electronic and kinetic weapons that could be used to disable or destroy satellites.

He’s been singing the same song for a while now:

“The average American may not understand just how reliant their lives are on space and the information that comes from space capabilities,” Raymond said back in July. “We all use GPS each and every day, but there’s lots of other capabilities that provide information that fuels our American way of life. Those same capabilities fuel our American way of war.”

Raymond said there are other countries trying to deny the U.S. access to those space-based capabilities. He said the new command will be responsible for protecting against that.

General Raymond was nominated for the position back in March by the POTUS.

“Raymond has been a longtime critic of the Pentagon’s procurement process. He has spoken about the slow process of acquiring space systems as a hindrance as Chinese and Russian develop anti-satellite weapons that could be aimed at U.S. spacecraft.

He has advocated for making U.S. space systems more resilient to attacks.

At the Air Force Association’s annual symposium last year, Raymond said U.S. space forces have reached a “strategic inflection point” because enemies are trying to challenge U.S. access to space and possibly deny the United States use of its satellites.

“We used to operate in a benign domain,” said Raymond. “Now we are operating in a contested domain.”

He has advocated for increased partnering with commercial companies as one way to more quickly modernize space capabilities,” Space News reported.

Initially, USSPACECOM will have a temporary headquarters of about 287 people at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. A manpower study is underway to determine the future size of the command.

Raymond said the command will start out small. The goal is to reach “initial operational capability” in the coming year and “full operational capability” in the years beyond. Of the $83.8 million requested for the command in fiscal year 2020, $8.2 million is new money and $75.6 million would be transferred from other accounts.

USSPACECOM will be supported by two key components:

  1. The Combined Force Space Component Command will be responsible to support military commanders around the world with space services such as GPS-based navigation, space-based data, satellite communications and missile warning;
  2. The Joint Task Force Space Defense at Schriever will be co-located with the National Space Defense Center and will be responsible for protecting military satellites on orbit.

Raymond said USSPACECOM will work closely with the National Reconnaissance Office. “The relationship with NRO has never been better,” he said. “We share a concept of operations. We train and exercise together.”

In conclusion, USSPACECOM is one of the Pentagon’s three major space reorganization directions. With the second being the Space Development Agency, established in March. It focuses on establishing a space architecture taking advantage of commercial technology.

Finally, still at the planning phase is the separate military service for space, which requires an authorization by the US Congress and a revision of Title 10 of the U.S. Code that governs the U.S. armed forces.

Trump Officially Establishes US Space Command, Accompanied By Awkward Website

A screenshot

To go with the new establishment, USSPACECOM has a new website, as well, with articles praising US space capability superiority. The website, without taking anything away from its charm, could’ve been made to resemble a middle school information technology class project a little less, but maybe that’s what Trump and Co. were aiming for.

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  • Saso Mange

    Stupid move, would be better of by doing it in secret. Now others will follow and might get advantage over USA.

    • 1691

      Did you not know?
      “The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, tr. Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii, literally “military air forces of Russia”) is a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the latter being formed on 1 August 2015 with the merger of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.

      • pingouin dédé

        “Aero-space”

        • 1691

          :)
          Russian Aerospace Defence Forces

          • pingouin dédé

            “Aero space” no “space”

      • Saso Mange

        All the more reasons for USA to keep theirs separated. I have no doubts that both China and USA had something similar before after all US X2? space plane project lasts for long time now. Anyhow, another miscalculation by Trump :D

  • chris chuba

    “Trump said. “Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home.”

    I know that Trump is unreliable but I’ve heard tall tales from others say in public that Russia/China having orbiting space weapons which is untrue. The only anti-satellite weapons I have read about are ground based, target, fire, where the missile either hits or misses but certainly does not stay in orbit. The S500 is an example of one such system.

    Does anyone know which Think Tank is promoting this rumor to justify U.S. satellite based weapons?

    An S500 would be hard to deploy in a manner to disrupt internal U.S. telecommunications. I don’t even know if it is as mobile as the S400.

  • Rodger

    Hahaha, nice one to use ‘boldly’ Trumpster! “To boldly go where no one has gone before!” :’)

  • Tommy Jensen

    Exactly what I have been saying bravely for years but no one wanted to believe in the truth, because you guys preferred fake news and lies and alternative media remained silent about it up to date, afraid of publishing anything without permission.

    From our US space command centre we will be leading the world toward the future, and our enemies will be taken out with photonic precision lasers in multi-strikes hitting up to 360 targets in a split second at the same time.

  • JustPassingThrough

    unfortunately neither one is in command of the empty space between their ears.