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U.S. Space Force to take over SATCOM operations from Army, Navy

By Jonna Lorenz
U.S. Space Force to take over SATCOM operations from Army, Navy
U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond (R), chief of space operations, greets Michael Fincke (L), NASA astronaut, at United Launch Alliance’s Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center, Fla., on May 17. Photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Sjoberg/U.S. Space Force

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Space Force will take over satellite communications billets, funding and mission responsibility from the U.S. Army and Navy, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.

The transfer, which includes a total of 15 global units with 319 military and 259 civilian billets, is scheduled to be effective Oct. 1, if the Defense Department budget is passed and signed.

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"We're one team with our sister services and over the last year and a half we have worked with the Army and Navy and Air Force to determine which capabilities come over to the Space Force," Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations said, according to a Defense Department news release.

"The intent was to consolidate (and) increase our operational capability; increase our readiness and do so in a more efficient manner," Raymond said.

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Raymond made the announcement during Tuesday's Air Force Association meeting in Washington.

"We need to create this unity of effort around our space missions to ensure we're up to the challenges that we face," Space Force Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman said.

"The space domain has rapidly become far more congested and far more contested than ... when I was a lieutenant or a captain operating space capabilities," Saltzman said.

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The transfer will include 76 manpower authorizations and 13 satellites from the Navy's narrow band satellite constellation.

From the Army, the transfer will involve 500 manpower authorizations, five SATCOM operations centers and four regional SATCOM support centers amounting to about $78 million of operations.

Army and Navy personnel won't be obligated to transfer to Space Force but must volunteer to move.

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The transfer is the latest effort to build the Space Force. Fifty active-duty Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel were chosen to transfer to the branch in July and test integration efforts.

The Space Force was founded in 2019 and welcomed its first personnel in 2020, when 2,410 active-duty Air Force personnel volunteered for reassignment to the branch.

In August, the Space Force activated its Space Training and Readiness Command. It was the third and final field command to be activated by the branch after Space Operations Command and Space Systems Command.

U.S. Space Command also achieved operational capability in August.

On Tuesday, the branch released prototypes of its new dress uniforms.

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