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SN Military.Space Sandra Erwin

Since President Trump signed the order on Dec. 18 to stand up U.S. Space Command, questions have swirled about who will run it, where it will be located and how many people will be assigned to it.

A four-star nominee has been selected but his or her identity remains a mystery. With regard to the location, base studies will have to be completed and that could take a while. One of the proposed locations is Shriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The Joint Force Space Component Command, which today reports to U.S. Strategic Command, is the organization that will serve as the foundation of U.S. Space Command. Air Force Space Command and JFSCC Commander Gen. John “Jay” Raymond last year recommended moving 140 military and civilian space operators from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to Schriever, to be closer to the JFSCC and collocated with the National Space Defense Center.

U.S. Space Command

At its inception, U.S. Space Command is expected to have a lean force of about 600 people, spread across four locations: Shriever, Vandenberg, Peterson Air Force, Colorado (home of Air Force Space Command) and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (home of U.S. Strategic Command).

“The expectation is that U.S. Space Command will be full operational capability on day one,” Air Force Space Command Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson told reporters last month. The reality is that it will take years, he said. “DoD and Congress will have to help build it to full capability,” Thompson said. “The early focus is to get it up and functioning at some level to ensure we don’t fall short on operations.”

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...