Chief of Space Operations at U.S. Space Force General John Raymond, seen testifying before the U.S. Senate in May, activated the new branch's first field command this week. Pool photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond established Space Operations Command during an activation ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado this week.
According to the Space Force, Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting will serve as commander of the new unit, which is mostly formed from former Air Force units 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command.
At the ceremony Wednesday, Raymond and Whiting both talked about the decades of work that made the new organization possible, and the role of that history in preparing warfighters for space.
Raymond also said he was "convinced a war in space will be fought at high speeds and over great distances.""We must be fast and agile, and we must focus on our primary mission, and that's to deter that conflict from happening," Raymond said."
"Let's be clear: it's the decades of faithful, dedicated, and unparalleled space operations that you, and those who have come before you, have provided which are the foundation of all our new organizations -- the new armed service and combatant command alike," Whiting said.
Space Operations Command is the first of the newly-created Space Force's three field commands.
"Our charter is to focus exclusively on generating, presenting, and sustaining combat-ready space forces -- and those forces will include intelligence, cyber, space operations, and combat support elements. We are structured explicitly for the function of providing space warfighting capability," Whiting said.
The Air Force unit named Space Operations Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was redesignated as SpOC West.
It will retain its mission of conducting, integrating, and assessing global space operations in order to deliver combat-relevant space capabilities to combatant commanders, coalition partners, the joint force and the nation.
Earlier this week the Space Force swore in its first seven direct recruits in two ceremonies.
Most current members of the branch transferred directly from the Air Force.