U.S. Space Force Continues to Expand Under Trump, Including Renaming California Unit

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Gen. Jay Raymond, after signing the letter of his appointment as the chief of space operations for U.S. Space Command during a signing ceremony for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. …
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

The 14th Air Force, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base north of Santa Barbara, California, is being renamed to reflect President Donald Trump’s efforts to create the U.S. Space Force.

The new name will be Space Operations Command, or SPOC, according to Military.com:

The change was made in accordance with the transition from Air Force Space Command to the U.S. Space Force, effective Dec. 20 when President Donald Trump signed the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), establishing Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

“Every day, all around the planet, people count on us to make a difference — to provide a space-enabled combat edge to the warfighters that keep our country, our allies, and our partners safe. We will not let them down,” Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, commander of the newly redesignated SPOC, said in a press release reported on by Military.com.

Shaw also is the U.S. Space Command’s combined force space component commander.

“SPOC will assume the majority of the mission previously held by the 14th Air Force, including operational command and control,” Military.com reports.

The new responsibilities tasked with the renamed unit include “space domain awareness, space electronic warfare, satellite communications, missile warning, nuclear detonation detection, environmental monitoring, military intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), navigation warfare, and positioning, navigation and timing” on behalf of the Space Force, Space Command, and other combatant commands, the release states.

About 16,000 active-duty and civilian personnel who are in units within the Air Force Space Command will now be assigned to the Space Force.

The report notes that Trump appointed Gen. Jay Raymond as the first chief of Space Operations. He also leads U.S. Space Command.

“Over the next 18 months, Air Force officials will identify more personnel to transfer branches and become part of the U.S. Space Force,” Military.com reports.

Raymond told reporters that plans are in motion to re-designate Air Force units with a space-only mission at various Colorado facilities, including Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson Air Force Base, and Schriever Air Force Base.

Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, Vandenberg, and Patrick Air Force Base in Florida are also on the list.

While the U.S. Space Force will be headquartered at the Pentagon, some bases will be under consideration for housing the U.S. Space Command, which is responsible for planning and conducting space military operations.

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