Space Force ops, comms director on the road

Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, United States Space Force director of operations and communications, speaks to Airmen at the Schriever Air Force Base fitness center March 5, 2020. Burt said one reason the U.S. requires the Space Force is to be prepared for adversarial threats. (Air Force photograph by Dennis Rogers)

The U.S. Space Force hosted a roadshow at the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., March 5, 2020, to update Airmen on the future of the newest service.

Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, Space Force director of operations and communications, discussed the swift stand up of the service and how Airmen are a part of history.

“No one thought that four months later we’d be standing up the U.S. Space Force,” Burt said. “This is a large, historical adventure. We haven’t set up a new service since 1947. You are all a part of history.”

The idea of the U.S. Space Force isn’t new. For decades, the government discussed the potential to create a Space Force to protect its citizens. They’re now putting those efforts into motion.  

“Why (do we need a Space Force?)” Burt asked. “One word: threats. Space is embedded day to day in our American way of war and American way of life.

The enemy knows that and is looking to take away that advantage. So we have to protect and defend it.”

Developing the necessary forces to fight against those threats won’t occur overnight. Over the next year, the USSF plans to begin structuring the service with talent.     

Col. David Stanfield, USSF director of manpower, personnel and services, detailed how Airmen who join the Space Force must commit to two years of active duty service should they transfer to the service, which can be served concurrently with their existing ADSCs. 

The transfer into the Space Force, however, isn’t mandatory; and is a decision for Airmen to make.

“No one will be forced to join the Space Force,” Stanfield said. “That’s why you have to apply.”

Stanfield also recognized that many notable Airmen may choose not to join the Space Force. He knows both the Air Force and Space Force will bridge the gap accordingly to keep both services balanced.  

“For readiness reasons, we need an equal distribution of talent,” said Stanfield.

Benefits Airmen receive in the Air Force will follow them into the Space Force should they choose to join. No interruption in pay will occur to those who transfer and Airmen will still earn their GI Bill. 

While Stanfield illustrated the benefits Airmen will continue to receive and how Airmen can join, he also wanted them to be aware of the importance of the standup of the Space Force. 

“This is a brand new service—the first in 70 years,” Stanfield said. “Those who join this brand-new service will be a part of history.”

Prior to answering questions from Team Schriever, Burt echoed Stanfield’s sentiments about the magnitude of the Space Force. 

“This is an exciting time,” Burt said. “If you’re not excited, you don’t have a pulse.”