U.S. Space Command re-established as 11th Unified Combatant Command

August 29, 2019  - By
Air Force General John W. Raymond (Photo: USAF)

Air Force General John W. Raymond (Photo: USAF)

In a move to enhance the United States’ space superiority capabilities, the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) was formally re-established.

USSPACECOM existed from 1985 to 2002 but was absorbed into U.S. Strategic Command in 2002 to make room for U.S. Northern Command and a greater focus on homeland defense.

The Department of Defense established U.S. Space Command today as the eleventh Unified Combatant Command, with Air Force General John W. “Jay” Raymond as its congressionally confirmed commander.

From establishment to full operational capability, General Raymond will remain dual-hatted as the commander of Air Force Space Command and U.S. Space Command. The GPS constellation is operated by Air Force Space Command’s 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base east of Colorado Springs.

USSPACECOM will have a temporary headquarters of about 280 people at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

“Establishing USSPACECOM is a critical step that underscores the importance of the space domain and its strategic contributions to U.S. national security,” the U.S. Space Command stated in a news release. “The USSPACECOM establishment will accelerate the United States’ space capabilities to address rapidly evolving threats to U.S. space assets and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from putting critical U.S. space systems at risk.”

“The scope, scale and complexity of today’s threat is real and it is concerning,” said Raymond during the establishment ceremony. “The establishment of a Combatant Command solely focused on the space domain demonstrates the United States’ commitment to protecting and defending its space assets against that threat.”



The USSPACECOM 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.

The command will be postured to protect and defend, while increasing joint warfighter lethality by executing two primary missions focused on

  1. unifying and leading space capabilities for the Combined Force, and
  2. maintaining U.S. and Allied advantages in space through protection and defense.

USSPACECOM’s global area of responsibility includes the area surrounding the earth at altitudes equal to or greater than 100 kilometers above mean sea level.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.