Space Force Finalizing Plans to Absorb Army, Navy Systems

The Space Force has finalized which units from the Army and Navy will join its ranks, and the new service’s No. 2 said details on the transfer are coming soon.

Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson, speaking April 21 during the virtual C4ISRNET conference, said the timeline for these transfers is being worked out now, and “you’ll see later this year and continuing the next year—it will be a phased process by which that transition occurs.”

The Space Force now consists of organizations previously under Air Force Space Command, though the service has reached out for volunteers from other services to join. Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond said in February that his service wants about 30 members of the Army and Navy to join in 2021, with that number growing to several hundred next year.

This comes as Space Force leaders discuss what systems will shift to the new service with the Army and Navy. For example, the operations center and sustainment personnel with the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System satellites are already part of the plan to transfer in the coming years, Thompson said.

The Space Force and Army have agreed on what systems should transfer, but the planning is not completed and Thompson said “we’re going to communicate what’s happening together with the Army. They’ve been a good partner.”

The Space Force earlier this month announced the makeup of its Space Systems Command—one of three field commands that will oversee acquisition and launch services. The existing Space and Missile Systems Center will serve as its headquarters.

Thompson said the Space Force wants to work with Congress to adjust some of the legal framework for the service to bolster the SSC. Under existing legislation, the Space Rapid Capabilities Office and the Space Development Agency report to Raymond, and Thompson said as these organizations come together, the Space Force hopes to align them under the SSC.