USAF Taps More Missions to Join Space Force

Missions that support space operations and encompass more than 1,800 Airmen will transfer from the Air Force to the Space Force over the next six months, the Air Force said March 31.

Twenty-three intelligence, acquisition, and other organizations will become part of the Space Force, joining the fields like satellite management and rocket launches that are already assigned to the new service. Transferring the people themselves will come later.

“The missions and billets will simply be transferred to the Space Force and remain in place to leverage the talent, infrastructure, and key capabilities at their current location,” the Air Force said. “The list of affected units emerged from analysis and planning by Department of the Air Force planners who determined that transferring these missions would play a critical role in directly supporting space missions and related operational capabilities.”             

The following billets at these nine bases will transfer.

Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

  • 17th Test Squadron
  • 544th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group staff and Detachment 5
  • The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 4
  • The National Security Space Institute

Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.

  • 25th Space Range Squadron
  • 527th Space Aggressor Squadron
  • 705th Combat Training Squadron OL-A
  • Parts of 16th Air Force’s advanced programs group
  • The U.S. Air Force Warfare Center Detachment 1

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

  • 18th Intelligence Squadron
  • Parts of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s mission execution group and sensors directorate
  • The Counterspace Analysis Squadron
  • The Space Analysis Squadron 

Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

  • Parts of AFRL’s space vehicles directorate and the electro-optical division, including personnel in Hawaii
  • The Air Force Safety Center’s space safety division

Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

  • 533rd Training Squadron

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

  • Parts of the 566th Intelligence Squadron

Fort Meade, Md.

  • Parts of the 7th Intelligence Squadron
  • Parts of the 32nd Intelligence Squadron

Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

  • 328th Weapons Squadron

Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

  • Parts of AFRL’s rocket propulsion division

Other missions could be tapped to join the Space Force as well. However, mission transfers and personnel transfers are separate processes.

The first personnel who will be asked to re-commission and re-enlist into the Space Force hold specialty codes 13S, or space operators, and 1C6, the enlisted equivalent. They will likely join the service by the end of September, Space Force Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David Thompson said. Those in support positions may start coming into the Space Force sometime in fiscal 2021.

Military personnel in the select organizations will be eligible to formally transfer into the Space Force. People who decline to switch into the new service will finish out their term in their current job and then move to a different post within the Air Force.

“The status of civilians, as Department of the Air Force employees, is unchanged,” the service said. “Whether serving in Air Force or Space Force billets, civilians will remain DAF employees and have the ability to remain in their current positions, or apply for other positions across the department.”

Space Force officials have said their intent is to transfer two major groups of operators and support staff by the end of fiscal 2021. It is ultimately expected to number about 15,000 staff across 16 specialties.