Space Force Gen. Jay Raymond swears in

Vice President Mike Pence on presides over the swearing-in ceremony of Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond, January 14, 2019. (Office of Mike Pence via Twitter)

Safeguarding and advancing America's outer space assets, satellites, etc., is the essential purpose of the U.S. Armed Forces newest branch of the military — the United States Space Force.

The U.S. Space Force was established on Dec. 20, 2019, with the enactment of the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be organized over the next 18 months.

The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance of the Secretary of Defense.

On Tuesday of this week, Gen. John "Jay" Raymond was sworn in as the chief of Space Operations, which is the top post of the Space Force.

Here is the official mission statement of the Space Force: "The USSF is a military service that organizes trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands."

Air Force Space Command was redesignated as the Space Force as an initial step in establishing the USSF. Military members that were assigned to the Air Force Space Command have now been assigned to the USSF and remain Airmen within the U.S. Air Force.

Gen. Raymond, at his swearing-in ceremony presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, said, "Mr. Vice President, we have our marching orders and we are moving out. We do not want a conflict to begin or to extend into space, we want to deter a conflict from happening. The best way I know how to do that is to do so from a position of strength."

Over time, the Department of Defense vision is to consolidate space missions from across the Armed Forces into the USSF, as appropriate and consistent with law.

It is expected that some 16,000 officers, airmen and civilians will comprise the new service branch. We wish them well and every success in this new branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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