U.S. Space Force Gets Its Wings? Yes!

Updated: Dec 12, 2019


The Big Picture:

UPDATE: The House has passed the bill!


The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have reached an agreement for the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes language designating the U.S. Space Force as an independent military branch under the U.S. Air Force. It's contained in a $768 billion defense bill that the House is expected to pass today. The Senate will vote on it later.


Agreement Terms:

  • The Air Force Space Command will be renamed the U.S. Space Force.

  • The Secretary of the Air Force will be authorized to transfer personnel to this new branch.

  • A brand new "Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration" oversee the Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Rapid Capabilities Office, and Space Development Agency AND chair a "Space Force Acquisition Council."

  • A brand new "Chief of Space Operations" (CSO) for the U.S. Space Force will report directly to the Air Force Secretary and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • The CSO may serve concurrently as the Commander of the U.S. Space Command (an entirely different agency for one year.

Who's In Charge?

  • Barbara Barrett is the current Secretary of the Air Force.

  • Gen. John Raymond is the current Commander of U.S. Space Command AND the soon-to-be-eliminated Air Force Space Command. He will presumably be named CSO of the U.S. Space Force.

Space for Women?

  • Secretary Barrett is the fourth woman to lead the Air Force.

  • Writers Sandra Erwin and Patricia Zengerle reported on much of this story for SpaceNews.com and Reuters, respectively.

Image: Darren Halstead/Unsplash