Q: Are Air Force Space Command personnel now in the Space Force?
A: The personnel who belonged to Air Force Space Command are now assigned to the U.S. Space Force, but currently remain Airmen with the U.S. Air Force. Airmen in select space-related jobs will be transferred into the U.S. Space Force (becoming members of the U.S. Space Force) in deliberate manner over the next 18 months, while other Airmen will remain assigned to the U.S. Space Force in a supporting role.
Q: What’s the difference between being ‘assigned’ to the Space Force versus being ‘transferred’? Is there really a difference?
A: Yes, there is a difference. An “assigned” individual is a person who performs work in support of a specific mission, in this case the U.S. Space Force. A “transferred” individual in this situation is someone who has changed their enlistment or appointment as an officer from one particular branch of the Armed Forces to another.
This will be similar to how we approach manning for Combatant Commands and Joint Organizations where members are “assigned” to the organization based on expertise to support the mission. These individuals receive day-to-day direction from the Combatant Command or Joint Organization, but their administrative control (e.g., their authority to be promoted or disciplined) falls within the Service in which they enlisted or were appointed as an officer.
In the long term, U.S. Space Force organizations will need to be manned with individuals from the 6th Armed Forces branch (the U.S. Space Force), since it will have organic capability in space operations, intelligence, acquisition and other operational support specialties. It will also need significant support from the U.S. Air Force for things like base operating support, logistics, medical, dental and legal.