Space Force Rockets Toward Milestones
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued July 24, 2020)
An Encapsulated X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle sits ready for United States Space Force-7 mission, May 6, 2020. (DoD photo)
Although the Space Force, the military's newest service, is just seven months old, it has sprinted toward its goal of preserving dominance in the space domain, its leader said.

Gen. John W. Raymond, chief of space operations of the Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command, held a video briefing today at the Pentagon, hosted by the Center for a New American Security.

Although U.S. Space Command was stood up on Aug. 29 and the Space Force stood up Dec. 20, significant advances have already been made, he said.

The Space Force was involved in launching the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, GPS satellites, and other launches out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, he said. The newest service also supports the first human space flight since the end of the space shuttle era.

Also in the works is a draft of the first ever capstone warfighting doctrine for space, which will be rolled out in a week or two. He said it’s a foundational document that will inform Americans and allies about the value of the Space Force in protecting national security.

Just last week, the Space Force graduated its first classes in space electronic warfare, orbital warfare and space battle management, he noted.

Raymond said his organization will integrate closely with all of the combatant commands to ensure they have the support they need in the space domain. To do that, teams are being formed that will be a part of that integration effort.

One of the notable values the Space Force will bring to the American people is unity of effort and cost savings, he said, noting that there are many organizations, allies and partners doing work involved in the space domain.

The Space Force is looking to avoid duplication of effort. As an example, the Defense Department needed to have two satellites in polar orbit. Raymond said his organization found that Norway was already involved in doing just that, so the U.S. partnered with its NATO ally to put payloads on their rockets.

Raymond emphasized that he wants to ensure that the Space Force stays lean and agile, and he said the organization will be flattened, thus avoiding layers of bureaucracy.

The requirements, acquisition and personnel processes will likewise be streamlined and efficient, he added.

That small force will also be digitally savvy, he said, noting that only the best and brightest will be accepted.

Raymond said he wants the new workforce to be up to date, both technically and proficiently. In an effort to do that, he said he expects Space Force personnel will be allowed to work for certain periods of time within agencies like NASA and the National Reconnaissance Office as well as industry.

Like other organizations, the Space Force has been impacted by COVID-19, he said. As a result, the Space Force has embraced virtual events, such as hosting a combined space operations principles meeting with close partners in space: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Finally, Raymond noted that an airman in Germany sent him a note recently suggesting a new Space Force motto, Semper Supra, which is Latin for "Always Above." Raymond said he approved it.

The U.S Space Force released its logo and motto, Semper Supra (Always Above), July 22, 2020 at the Pentagon, D.C. The logo and motto honor the heritage and history of the U.S. Space Force.

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