United States Space Command

United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) is a unified combatant command of the United States Department of Defense.

United States Space Command
U.S. Space Command shield
Active23 September 1985 – 1 October 2002[1]
29 August 2019 – present
Country United States
TypeUnified combatant command
Part of Department of Defense
HeadquartersPeterson AFB[2]
CommanderGen John W. Raymond
Command Senior Enlisted LeaderCCM Robert A. Towberman[3]

It was originally created in September 1985 to coordinate the use of outer space by the United States Armed Forces.[4] The commander-in-chief of U.S. Space Command (CINCUSSPACECOM) also functioned as the commander-in-chief of the binational U.S.–Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (CINCNORAD), and for the majority of time during USSPACECOM's existence, was also the commander of Air Force Space Command.

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law in 2018, directed the reestablishment of U.S. Space Command as a sub-unified combatant command under U.S. Strategic Command. Space Command was officially reestablished on August 29, 2019.


U.S. Space Command's mission is to "deter aggression and conflict, defend U.S. and allied freedom of action, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined force, and develop joint warfighters to advance U.S. and allied interests in, from, and through the space domain."[2]

Subordinate commands

United States Space Command has two subordinate components:


First U.S. Space Command: 1985–2002

United States Space Command was established in 1985 to provide joint command and control of the Air Force, Army, and Navy's space forces.[5]

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the armed forces' focus on homeland defense and counter-terrorism was significantly increased, which resulted in space being deemphasized. It was in this context that the unified command plan was reevaluated, resulting in U.S. Northern Command being established for the defense of the North American continent, while U.S. Space Command was merged with U.S. Strategic Command, where it became the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike. In 2006, this would be replaced by the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, and in 2017, be reorganized as the Joint Force Space Component Commander.[6]

Second U.S. Space Command: 2019–present

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law in 2018, directed the reestablishment of U.S. Space Command as a sub-unified combatant command under U.S. Strategic Command; however, in December 2018, the Trump administration directed that U.S. Space Command instead be reestablished as a full unified combatant command, with full responsibilities for space warfighting held under U.S. Strategic Command.[7][8]

On March 26, 2019, U.S. Air Force General John W. Raymond was nominated to be Commander of the reestablished USSPACECOM, pending Senate approval.[9][10]

In 2019 the Air Force released that the list of finalists for the Headquarters of Space Command are: Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Buckley Air Force Base, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Redstone Arsenal.[11] The service components were reported to be: Air Force Space Command, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Fleet Cyber Command/Tenth Fleet, Joint Navigation and Warfare Center, Missile Warning Center, Joint Overhead Persistent Infrared Center, National Space Defense Center, and Combined Space Operations Center.[11]

U.S. Space Command was officially reestablished on August 29, 2019 during a ceremony at the White House.[12]

USSPACECOM has two subordinate commands: Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC), and Joint Task Force Space Defense (JTF-SD) with commanders AF Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, and Army BG Gen. Tom James, respectively.[13] 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. JTF-SD conducts, in unified action with mission partners, space superiority operations to deter aggression, defend U.S. and allied interests, and defeat adversaries throughout the continuum of conflict.[2][13]


NamePhotoStartEndNotable offices held before or after
1General Robert T. Herres, USAFSeptember, 198519871st Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1987–1990)
2General John L. Piotrowski, USAF1987199022nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1985–1987)
3General Donald J. Kutyna, USAF19901992Member of the Rogers Commission (1986–1988)
4General Charles A. "Chuck" Horner, USAFJune, 1992September, 1994Commander, 9th Air Force, and Commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces (1987–1992), he led U.S. and allied air operations for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Gulf War.
5General Joseph W. Ashy, USAFSeptember, 1994August, 1996
6General Howell M. Estes III, USAFAugust, 1996August 14, 1998
7General Richard B. Myers, USAFAugust 14, 1998February 22, 20005th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2000–2001)
15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001–2005)
8General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAFFebruary 22, 2000October 1, 200227th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1997–1999)
Commander, United States Northern Command (2002–2005)
9General John W. Raymond, USAFAugust 29, 2019PresentCommander, United States Air Force Space Command (2016–present)
Joint Force Space Component Commander (2017–present)

Commanders of U.S. Space Command by branches of service

  • Air Force: 9
  • Army: none
  • Marine Corps: none
  • Navy: none
  • Coast Guard: none

See also


  1. https://books.google.com/books?id=RY8nKLuNGs8C&pg=RA5-PA50&lpg=RA5-PA50&dq=us+space+command+deactivation+october+2002&source=bl&ots=tDrPMCJFti&sig=ACfU3U3W4fnuf5R9uH5lmGslZzM6gfxs9w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIvY_jzbflAhXRY98KHeT-AuYQ6AEwDXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=us%20space%20command%20deactivation%20october%202002&f=false
  2. "United States Space Command Fact Sheet". United States Space Command. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  3. "Chief Master Sergeant Roger A. Towberman". United States Space Command. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  4. Handberg, Roger (2000). Seeking New World Vistas: The Militarization of Space. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN 0-275-96295-4.
  5. "United States Space Command". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  6. Shugart, Gary (1 October 2018). "Re-establishing U.S. Space Command". purview.dodlive.mil. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  7. "Trump Signs National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019". American Institute of Physics. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. Trump, Donald J. (18 December 2018). "Text of a Memorandum from the President to the Secretary of Defense Regarding the Establishment of the United States Space Command". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  9. Erwin, Sandra (26 March 2019). "Trump nominates Raymond to be commander of U.S. Space Command". SpaceNews. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  10. Pawlyk, Oriana (26 March 2019). "Air Force General Tapped to Head US Space Command". Military.com. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  11. Browne, Ryan (5 April 2019). "Trump's Space Command to be based in Colorado, Alabama or California". CNN. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  12. Mehta, Aaron (20 August 2019). "Space Command to launch Aug. 29". Defense News. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  13. Hitchens, Theresa (30 August 2019). "Raymond's First SPACECOM Move: Two New Subcommands and Their Leaders". Breaking Defense. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
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