A Deputy Chief of Staff for Space position has been announced by the Air Force to be filled by a three-star general as they push to enhance the visibility of space issues in the Pentagon.
Defense News reports that the new position was announced by Air Force Space Command head Gen. John Raymond during a speech at the Space Symposium. “Just like we have a deputy chief of staff for operations, and a deputy chief of staff for intel, we’re going to have a deputy chief of staff for space,” said Gen. Raymond at the Symposium on Tuesday. “He or she will work at the Pentagon, it will be a three-star general, and they’ll come to work every day focused on this, making sure that we can organize, train and equip our forces to meet the challenges in this domain.”
The new “A11” position has yet to be filled, but the Air Force reportedly hopes that whoever takes up the role will act as a “space advocate,” working to bring issues relating to space to the attention of Pentagon officials. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said in a statement that the A11 position, “will increase decision making speed and help ensure freedom from attack and freedom to maneuver.”
This newly announced position is part of the Air Force’s current push to normalize and simplify issues surrounding the domain of space. The Air Force also plans to release a new “space warfighting construct” today that aims to provide greater integration of space in areas such as training or requirements development. The program’s goal is to improve and reform areas such as space acquisition, streamlining the approval process for space-related programs and including space professionals on teams that create the requirements needed for non-space programs. The program will also, “expand the use of the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) organization to rapidly field systems, as well as procure existing commercial capabilities.”
In further attempts to simplify space related matters within the Air Force, the previously named Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSpOC) has been renamed the National Space Defense Center in efforts to “eliminate confusion” according to Strategic Command head Gen. John Hyten. Gen. Hyten also stated that the new name will help to “better describe it’s actual purpose” in unifying the Defense Department’s advancements in space with those of the intelligence community and National Reconnaissance Office.