In our world where things seemingly change as quickly as the wind blows, and indeed more changes are coming! This time, the changes are coming to the Air Force’s space enterprise in the form of a newly created position to help enhance the visibility of space issues in the Pentagon. This new position, Deputy Chief of Staff for Space, will be a three-star rank, which is a very important senior commander the likes of Vice Admirals, Lieutenant Generals and Air Marshals.
So why the need for this new position? Air Force Space Command head General John Raymond explained in a recent speech at the Space Symposium. “Just like we have a deputy chief of staff for operations, and a deputy chief of staff for intel, we’re going to have a deputy chief of staff for space,” he said Tuesday. The new position will work each day focused on organizing, training and equipping our forces to meet new challenges in the domain of space. Serving as an advocate for space and the needs of the team members, this person will be instrumental in helping to further cultural change.
Although there is no current timeline as to when this position will be filled, some of the details of what they will oversee are emerging with defense of US space missions and assuring space superiority in the increasingly contested space domain will get high priority. A Raymond explains, “the U.S. finds itself “at this uncomfortable intersection of being very heavily reliant on space capabilities, but at the same time being extremely vulnerable.” He goes on to say that although we are not interested in getting to that fight, which is largely believed unwinnable, we do see the importance and need to prepare for it. This new position will allow us to do just that.
Pushing toward normalizing and simplifying issues related to space domain is not a new endeavor, but it is becoming an increasingly more important one. In related matters, the sometimes incredibly long names for space committees and the like is also getting a bit of a facelift. Gen. John Hyten, leader of U.S. Strategic Command, announced Tuesday that the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center, or JICSpOC, will now be called the National Space Defense Center (NSDC). The NSDC is focused on bringing together the Defense Department, intelligence community and commercial sector to address threats in space, and unify plans and efforts in orbit.