WASHINGTON — United States Central Command, responsible for military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, on Dec. 2 activated a Space Force component known as U.S. Space Forces-Central

The Space Force unit will be based at U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. 

Up until now, the Air Force component of U.S. CENTCOM was responsible for coordinating space-based services and support such as positioning, navigation and timing, satellite communications and missile warning.

The new space component will be led by Space Force Col. Christopher Putman. “U.S. Space Force-Central provides CENTCOM a subordinate command focused solely and continuously on space integration across the command,” he said in a news release. 

“Activating this component under CENTCOM provides expert guardians to work with coalition and regional partners to integrate space activities into shared operations and adds another level of commitment to partners,” said Putnam.

CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla said space “underpins every element of warfighting in the CENTCOM region.” Since the Cold War, he said, “space has ceased to be a sanctuary. It is no longer solely the realm of progress and peace.”

The standup of Space Forces-Central follows the Nov. 22 establishment of U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific within U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...