The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Both the center, known as SMC, and the command, known as SpOC, fall under the new U.S. Space Force. Operators from SpOC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will now retain control authority for the key military satellite communications capability, the center reported on February 12.
Last August 30, the U.S. Space Command become the 11th unified combatant command of the U.S. Department of Defense. In that role, the command will be conducting defensive, and when necessary, offensive cyber capabilities to protect key space-based assets and guard its part of the military’s network, called the DODIN.
For the first time in 70 years, the U.S. military will be adding another service to its organization, the Space Force. The move becomes official with the signing of the S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 by the president later today, announced Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, USA. The top two military leaders briefed the press at the Pentagon and broadcasted the event online December 20.
To build the Space Force, the proposed sixth service of the U.S. military, the Defense Department will initially pull from all the services, not just the Air Force, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Steve Kitay. It will truly be a joint warfighting service, he stressed.