Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has announced that its new Space Operations Directorate begins initial operating capability this coming Monday.
The 43-member staff of the directorate, or AF/A11, is composed of military, government and contractor personnel. Shawn Barnes has been named assistant deputy chief of staff for Space Operations, and Maj. Gen. Pamela Lincoln will serve as mobilization Assistant to the deputy chief of staff for Space Operations.
AF/A11 is meant to be a strong advocate for space capabilities inside the Air Force and with national security, commercial, and international partners.
"The A11 will be key to ensuring we link combatant commander and service space requirements with our capabilities," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, the joint chief most responsible for military space forces, said in a press release. "We must ensure our space forces have the tools necessary to operate in any environment, defend our systems, and provide our joint force with vital space capabilities to remain the most responsive, agile and lethal on the planet."
The new directorate is part of the service's effort to adapt its operations and organizational structure to reflect that space is considered a war-fighting domain.