We're a week away from having a US Space Command—not to be confused with a US Space Force. "Next week we will formally stand up the new unified combatant command that will be known as the United States Space Command," Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday during a meeting of the National Space Council, referring to space as "war-fighting domain," per Space.com. In tweets late last year, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan clarified that a potential Space Force—to be established by 2020 pending congressional approval and funding—would "serve as a force provider for personnel, assets, and capabilities supporting space operations, while Space Command will serve as the operational command that will employ space capabilities and lead space operations."
Nearly 90 people will be under the direction of Gen. John Raymond, Space.com reports, describing a formal ceremony to establish the command on Aug. 29. Those personnel will be in charge of missile warnings, space control, satellite operations, and space support, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, who also spoke at the meeting, per the Hill. "The direction is clear, we understand it and we're moving out." Shanahan noted in 2018, "This action reflects the value of space contributions to national security, the evolution of the threats to US space systems, and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from attacking US space systems." It'll be America's first new combatant command in a decade, following the creation of the US Africa Command in 2009. (Read more space stories.)