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News | Sept. 21, 2021

Navy establishes Maritime Space Officer designator for joint warfighting effort

By U.S. Space Command Public Affairs Office

U.S. Space Command is focused on building the command to compete and win, as it heads into its third year as America’s 11th Combatant Command. A huge part of that focus is to ensure space warfighters from each service have the technical knowledge and tactical acumen to integrate into the full range of joint space capabilities.

Each service brings unique talents to the Joint Force, and most recently, the U.S. Navy announced the establishment of the Maritime Space Officer designator.

“These sailors will integrate into our operations to help deter, compete and win against our nation’s most formidable competitors in space,” said U.S. Army Gen. Jim Dickinson, USSPACECOM commander. “All joint partnerships across the Department of Defense are pertinent to continue projecting global power with space capabilities.”

The MSO community fills a critical requirement to professionalize space integration with full-time space professionals at key positions across Combatant Commands. MSOs will provide the framework to build and deploy the space expertise needed to enable multi-domain operations in an increasingly contested environment. 

“Establishing the Maritime Space Officer community is a huge step in building the space technical proficiency the Navy needs to maintain naval superiority now and into the future,” said Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, Commander, Naval Information Forces. “This move is critical in establishing a community of Navy space experts who can be intentionally managed and detailed to key Navy and joint assignments.”

Those selected as MSOs will receive the designator 187x and will be managed within the Navy’s Information Warfare Community under the MSO promotion competitive category. These officers will fill key space-oriented billets at fleet and component commands within USSPACECOM, Maritime Operations Centers, Warfighting Development Centers, the intelligence community and at the Information Warfare Type Command.

“Our goal at U.S. Navy Space Command is to maintain maritime superiority from the sea floor to space, with a core emphasis on enabling fleet maneuver, survivability and lethality,” said Vice Admiral Ross Myers, Commander U.S. Navy Space.  “To execute space-enabled kill-chains, to protect critical assets, and to integrate fully with fleet operations, it is imperative that we have well-equipped, space-smart Navy planners at the operational level of war.”

With a variety U.S. military personnel assigned to the command, the Navy’s newest designator will continue to reinforce space warfighter ethos and a commitment to joint space operations. USSPACECOM will continue to conduct operations in, from and to space to deter conflict and if necessary, defeat aggression and deliver space combat power for the joint force.