Space Force or Space Command? What’s the difference? Given all the space talk in the news lately, we wanted to take a moment to break down some key takeaways and define terms that have been floating around the space channels. Before we dive in it’s important to note that the Colorado Springs’ region is home to not only the operations of key national defense commands, but also to over 250 aerospace and defense companies. In fact, some of the world’s most advanced technologies in global positioning, cybersecurity, and satellite communications reside right here in the Springs.
It is because of our expertise and location that the temporary home of Space Command currently lies at the base of the Rockies, in Colorado Springs. Let’s break it down.
What is Space Command?
The U.S. Space Command is now one of 11 unified commands under the Department of Defense and is temporarily stationed in Colorado Springs: the epicenter for military space. So, what is the U.S. Space Command responsible for? This command deters conflict, defends U.S. and allied freedom of action in the space domain, delivers combat-relevant space capability, and develops space forces. In charge of these duties is Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, the first Chief of Space Operations and Commander of the U.S. Space Command. The leader of organizing, training, and equipping mission-ready space forces, he already knows Peterson Air Force Base and the community in Colorado Springs well. Raymond is the Pentagon’s top official with a devoted focus on space, proving to be an essential asset to the Space Command sector.
What is Space Force?
The U.S. Space Force is the sixth and most recent Armed Service of the United States, under the Air Force. This new space operations service branch has a total of 15,000 troops, most of whom were previously part of Air Force Space Command, including space troops at Peterson, Schriever, and Buckley Air Force bases in Colorado. The Space Force holds many responsibilities within the space domain. Some of its duties include providing resilient, defendable and affordable space capabilities for the nation and the joint force.
What is the National Defense Authorization Act for FY20?
The U.S. Congress approved a $738 billion defense policy bill providing the first paid family leave for all federal workers and the establishment of a Space Force. The new bill was passed on December 4, 2019, responsible for the creation of a Space Force. The bill re-designates the Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs as the Space Force, which is responsible for America’s military efforts in space and defense of satellites.
“It helps cement Colorado Springs as the center of military space,” said member of the House Armed Services Committee, Doug Lamborn.
It’s a project that Representative Lamborn says could potentially keep the U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs permanently. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), combined with the Defense Appropriations Bill authorized $60 million for a consolidated space operations facility at Schriever Air Force Base. This could help secure the command’s location in Colorado Springs, where it has been headquartered temporarily. Additionally, $54 million will be given to Peterson Air Force Base, which is planned for a facility to house U.S. Northern Command’s special operations contingent.
Colorado Springs is in the perfect position for continued space talks regarding the space economy and innovation within aerospace & defense realms. To join our vast aerospace & defense industry or to learn more about why Colorado Springs is the ideal location for the U.S. Space Command, contacts us for more information.