Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein, shown addressing a National Reconnaissance Office intern class in June 2021, was nominated to lead the Space Systems Command of the U.S. Space Force. Photo courtesy of U.S. National Reconnaissance Office
July 16 (UPI) -- Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein was nominated to be the U.S. Space Systems Command's first field commander, the Pentagon announced. Since 2019, he has been deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Guetlein would receive a third star and lead the command in its first standup later this summer. The position is tasked with overseeing the U.S. Space Force's acquisition and launch services.
President Joe Biden made the nomination, which was announced by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The structure of the Space Force, founded as a separate military branch in 2019, was unveiled in April 2021.
The Space Systems Command is one of three commands within the Space Force, with the Space Missile Command's offices at Los Angeles Air Base, Calif., serving as its headquarters The command's realignment will bring launch operations at Patrick Space Force Base, Fla., and Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., under its purview.
Guetlein formerly served in the Missile Defense Agency in charge of programs, including the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Targets and Countermeasures program; the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System; Foreign Military Sales programs with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and several classified programs collectively valued at more than $2.5 billion annually.
Before to his defense agency tenure, he served as the director of the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, managing a $48 billion space systems portfolio of space-based missile warning and environmental monitoring systems, his Air Force biography says.