WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force announced on July 24 that three former U.S. Air Force space wings have been deactivated and replaced with “Space Deltas” and “Garrison” commands.
This latest realignment follows the June 30 rollout of a plan to organize the Space Force field units into three major commands. Under each command will be deltas and garrisons, with squadrons under them. Compared to Air Force organizations, the Space Force structure is flatter, eliminating one general officer echelon and one colonel-level echelon of command.
Of the Air Force’s five space wings, the three that were based in Colorado — the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base; the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base; and the 460th Space Wing at Buckley Air Force Base — have been deactivated and new units have been stood up in their place.
The new units are known as Space Deltas and Garrisons. Deltas are commanded by colonels and are trained for specific missions and operations. The Space Force views Deltas as the equivalent of Army brigades. Garrisons are responsible for providing support functions to Deltas assigned to their installations such as base security, civil engineering, public affairs, physicians and chaplains. Garrisons do not oversee space Deltas, they are peer organizations.
The operations of the three deactivated wings have been realigned as follows:
- Peterson-Schriever Garrison was stood up at Peterson Air Force Base. This garrison will support Thule Air Base, Greenland; Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado; Kaena Point Air Force Station, Hawaii and New Boston Air Force Station, New Hampshire, and 16 additional locations around the world.
- Buckley Garrison at Buckley Air Force Base will support Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts; Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota; Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, and 10 additional mission locations around the world.
- Space Delta 2 focused on space domain awareness replaces the 21st Operations Group at Peterson Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 3 focused on electronic warfare replaces the 721st Operations Group at Peterson Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 4 focused on missile warning replaces the 460th Operations Group at Buckley Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 5 focused on command and control replaces the 614th Air Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
- Space Delta 6 focused on cyberspace operations replaces the 50th Network Operations Group at Schriever Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 7 focused on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is aligned with the 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Peterson Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 8 focused on satellite communications and navigation warfare replaces the 50th Operations Group at Schriever Air Force Base.
- Space Delta 9 focused on orbital warfare replaces the 750th Operations Group at Schriever Air Force Base.
The Space Force has also stood up a Space Training and Readiness (STAR) Delta Provisional at Peterson Air Force Base as the precursor organization to one of its major field command, the Space Training and Readiness Command.
The other two field commands will be Space Operations Command and the Space Systems Command.
The eight mission-focused Space Deltas that were just stood up will report to the Space Operations Command. That command, to be run by a three-star general, has not yet been established.
“Until such time the planned U.S. Space Force field commands are activated, the nine Deltas and two Garrison commands established July 24 report to Gen. John “Jay” Raymond,” Lynn Kirby, U.S. Space Force spokesperson, told SpaceNews.
There are two other Air Force space wings — the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force, Florida — that have not yet been reorganized but eventually will be realigned.
The 30th and the 45th Space Wings operate the nation’s largest space launch ranges and oversee military, civil and commercial space launches. The Space Force has not yet announced its plans to reorganize these two wings. A likely scenario is that the launch mission will be moved to a Space Delta under Space Systems Command, and the base and range support will be assigned to an existing or a new Garrison.