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News | Aug. 31, 2020

One year later, US Space Command is protecting, defending the space domain

By U.S. Space Command Public Affairs U.S. Space Command

In only one year since the activation and stand-up of the nation’s 11th  Combatant Command, U.S. Space Command is celebrating the anniversary milestone by focusing on the myriad of mission accomplishments.  

USSPACECOM officially stood up during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden Aug. 29, 2019, with President Donald Trump; Dr. Mark T. Esper, Secretary of Defense; Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, former USSPACECOM commander and current U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, USSPACECOM’s former command Senior Enlisted Leader and current USSF CSEL.

Despite serving for just 12 lunar cycles, the newest warfighting command and its personnel have completed many milestones, including:

  • The stand-up of a new Joint Task Force-Space Defense and the Combined Force Space Component Command. Each of the subordinate commands are unique in their contributions to the USSPACECOM mission. The JTF-SD’s  mission is to conduct, in unified action with mission partners, space superiority operations to deter aggression, defend capability and defeat adversaries throughout the continuum of conflict and focuses on the protect and defend mission on-orbit. The CFSCC plans, integrates, conducts and assesses global space operations in order to deliver combat relevant space capabilities to combatant commanders, coalition partners, the Joint Force and the nation.
  • Assuming responsibility of a named space operation, Operation OLYMPIC DEFENDER. OOD is a key multinational effort intended to optimize space operations, improve mission assurance, enhance resilience and synchronize U.S. efforts with some of its closest allies. The purpose of OOD is to strengthen allies’ abilities to deter hostile acts in space, strengthen deterrence against hostile actors and reduce the spread of debris orbiting the earth.
  • Managing and growing 121 Space Data Sharing Agreements to include 26 foreign nations, two intergovernmental organizations, 90 commercial companies and three universities. This robust network of responsible space-faring nations enhances the overall picture of space allowing for better and safer space flight operations through the use of shared data. This network of partnering nations, organizations and universities also helps to understand the nature of irresponsible actions from revisionist powers who operate in, from and to space.
  • A signed campaign plan and new campaign orders. The Campaign Plan guides USSPACECOM’s day-to-day activities. From cooperation with allies and partners to global competition, the campaign plan enables USSPACECOM to project space power around the world at the speed of relevance.
  • Full participation in Globally Integrated Exercises and Wargames. For the Department of Defense, mission success requires a multi-service, multi-domain, and globally integrated approach to national security objectives, consistent with the Chairman’s Joint Concept for Integrated Campaigning. USSPACECOM has fully integrated with other combatant commands, interagency mission partners, as well as international and commercial partners and to protect and defend U.S. and Allied space assets.
  • Established key alliances and partnerships to deliver space effects. In July, representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States attended the virtual Combined Space Operations Principals Board creating a common vision with defined guiding principles and lines of effort to improve combined military space operations, foster cooperation and coordination and to collectively promote responsible behavior in space.

“We have achieved, with warp-speed-like precision, the stand-up of this newest command,” said U.S. Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, USSPACECOM commander. “Only 24 months ago this concept was a napkin sketch of ideas from a few brilliant warriors, and now we are pulling in Joint Space Warfighters, operating campaign orders, and actively running the protect and defend mission to ensure the continued peaceful use in, from and to space.”    

Dickinson assumed command of USSPACECOM Aug. 20, following the departure of Raymond, who transitioned from his dual-hatted assignment to focus solely on his role as USSF CSO. During its tenure, the combatant command witnessed an escalation of adversary threats and competitors in the space domain.

Persistent and escalating aggression from near-peer and adversarial nations continues to threaten U.S. and Allied space systems. Over the past year, USSPACECOM — in coordination with its allies — is working deter conflict, and if necessary, defeat hostile acts and defend vital interests in the space domain.

“In spite of the dangerous actions perpetrated by adversary nations, we’re leaning forward to protect and defend the peaceful use of space,” Dickinson said. “Campaign orders are being issued and the command is looking toward future efforts that enhance space warfighting capabilities.

“The command is working steadily towards establishing, aligning and normalizing new and existing command and control nodes alongside a USSPACECOM operational battle rhythm with accompanying tactics, techniques and procedures,” Dickinson continued. “We’re marching toward combat forces being fully integrated with established capabilities immersed within the Joint Strategic Planning System, while adapting and strengthening our warfighting culture.”

With one year under its belt, USSPACECOM is postured and prepared to be the leader in the space domain, ensuring that access in, from and to space is secured for the future.