Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman meets with airmen at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Credit: U.S. Space Force

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force in the coming weeks will add more than 2,400 new members who agreed to leave the Air Force and volunteered to join the space service.

With restrictions on mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Space Force will hold a virtual swearing-in ceremony Sept. 15 during the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference.

The 2,400 space operators who are transferring to the Space Force are spread across 175 locations around the world, spokeswoman Lynn Kirby said.

About half of Space Force’s new members are located at Buckley, Peterson, and Schriever Air Force Bases in Colorado, and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Kirby said the other half are at other U.S. and overseas locations including Germany, Greenland, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The 2,400 airmen were chosen from more than 8,500 who applied for the opportunity to transfer. Only airmen in the space operations and space systems operations career fields were selected.

On the official date of transfer, enlisted members will be administered the oath of enlistment and sign enlistment contracts into the Space Force.  Officers will be administered the oath of office and sign Space Force commissioning documents. Both officers and enlisted members have to commit to a minimum of two-years of active-duty service.

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...