When the President signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act the evening of Dec. 20, he set several new space initiatives in motion. The NDAA directed the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed forces, and at the same time, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett directed Fourteenth Air Force to be officially redesignated as Space Operations Command effective Dec. 20, according to an Air Force release.
Air Force military and civilian personnel previously assigned to Fourteenth Air Force are now assigned to SPOC by virtue of the redesignation action, according to the Air Force. The SPOC is directly supporting the U.S. Space Force’s mission to protect the interests of the United States in space; deter aggression in, from and to space; and conduct space operations.
In accordance with a redesignation memorandum signed by Barrett, Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, former Commander, Fourteenth Air Force, was redesignated as Commander, Space Operations Command; in addition to Shaw’s role as U.S. Space Command’s Combined Force Space Component Commander, the release stated.
The SPOC provides space capabilities such as space domain awareness, space electronic warfare, satellite communications, missile warning, nuclear detonation detection, environmental monitoring, military intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, navigation warfare, command and control, and positioning, navigation and timing, on behalf of the U.S. Space Force for USSPACECOM and other Combatant Commands, according to the U.S. Air Force.
Space Force members, and those interested in joining this newest branch of service, can keep up with the latest news via social media and a new website dedicated to space news. The official Spaceforce.mil website went live shortly after the NDAA was signed. The website also connects to the branch's official social media pages: https://www.facebook.com/USSpaceForceDoD and https://twitter.com/SpaceForceDoD.
Additional details about SPOC will be available in early 2020 – highlighting Space Operations Command’s critical roles and responsibilities in support of national security objectives, the Air Force said.