Space Force: Air Force Reservists to continue to support space operations

  • Published
  • By Bo Joyner
  • Air Force Reserve Command headquarters public affairs

With the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of service, members of the Air Force Reserve will continue to play an integral role in space operations and provide strategic depth for the Total Force.

On Dec. 20, President Donald Trump announced the creation of a new branch of the military specifically oriented towards space.

“Space is a new war-fighting domain and Space Force will lead the way,” the president said. “The Space Force will organize, equip and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend our nation, allies and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space.”

The Space Force is the first new service branch in more than 60 years – the first since the U.S. Air Force spun off from the U.S. Army in 1947.

The Space Force will initially be comprised of active-component members and civilian personnel who are conducting and supporting space operations today as part of Air Force Space Command.

The secretary of defense, with advice from key Defense Department stakeholders, will work with Congress if legislation is needed to further integrate Air Force Reserve expertise into the Space Force in the future.

Air Force Reservists currently engaged in space missions for the Air Force will remain in their current status within the Air Force Reserve, providing critical expertise and capabilities to space missions for both the Air and Space Forces. This includes Reservists currently integrated with active-component organizations as well as associated space units, which will remain under Air Force Reserve Command in accordance with current association plans.

“While there are still details we need to work through, the Air Force Reserve is 100-percent committed to actively support this new branch of the military,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command.

The Defense Department is currently executing a five-phase, conditions-based campaign that serves as a roadmap to lead the Space Force to full operational capability, tentatively set for 2024. This transition timeline was designed to ensure Space Force has enough time to develop procedures and hire enough people prior to assuming responsibility for critical missions.

“Today, we have more than 1,500 integrated Air Force Reserve space professionals and supporting staff in 11 associated units throughout Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command,” Scobee said. “Our Reserve Citizen Airmen provide direct, in-garrison support to combatant commander requirements as space, cyber and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) operators. These Reserve Citizen Airmen have years of military space experience combined with extensive civilian industry experience in the space mission. The Air Force Reserve is all-in on supporting the new U.S. Space Force.”

For more information on the U.S. Space Force, visit their website.