Much of modern U.S. and allied warfare and defense, as well as a great deal of the modern way of life, are heavily dependent on U.S. assets in space.Because of this, the United States has determined that space -- like air, land, sea, and cyberspace -- is a domain requiring defense, or a “warfighting domain.”
That is why the United States has established its newest unified geographic combatant command: The U.S. Space Command.
“The dangers to our country constantly evolve, and so must we,” said U.S. President Donald Trump:
“Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home. Our freedom to operate in space is also essential to detecting and destroying any missiles launched against the United States.”
The Space Command elevates existing assets residing within different branches of the U.S. military and organizes military personnel already working on space issues. It is separate from a planned Space Force that is awaiting Congressional approval and would be a sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces. The Space Command will join 10 other U.S. joint military commands that coordinate the operation and control of U.S. military forces across all branches in defined areas of geographic and strategic importance.
The Space Command’s primary goals are to deter conflicts from extending into space and to protect and defend critical U.S. and allied space assets.
“Although space is a warfighting domain, our goal is to actually deter a conflict from extending into space,” said General John Raymond, Commander of the Space Force. “The best way I know how to do that is to be prepared to fight and win if deterrence were to fail.”
The new Space Command also aims to more effectively coordinate U.S. efforts in space with those of allies. The United States will work with partners to deliver communications, intelligence, navigation, and early missile detection and warning around the globe. Space Command will also oversee joint military exercises.
Partners currently involved in collaborating with Space Command include Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as France and Germany.
But expanding that list will be a top priority, said General Raymond.
“SPACECOM will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened,” said President Trump, “because we know the best way to prevent conflict is to prepare for victory.”