In a significant step that enhances the U.S. Space Force’s capabilities and development, the Department of the Air Force has identified 23 U.S. Air Force organizations whose space-related missions will soon transfer to the Space Force.
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, in conjunction with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein, directed the transfer which entails shifting space missions from Air Force organizations into the newest military branch.
Currently, Space Force is comprised primarily of units which previously fell under the former Air Force Space Command prior to the service’s establishment on Dec. 20, 2019.
According to Space Force officials, the goal is to have each of the 23 space missions formally transferred from the Air Force into the Space Force within the next three to six months based on timing and conditions specific to each organization and mission. The CSAF and CSO have been delegated the authority to actually execute the transfer when they jointly agree the necessary conditions have been met to affect a smooth transfer.
This transfer plan does not include the physical movement of units or billets to a different geographic location, nor does it include moving any of the people assigned to units. The missions and billets will simply be transferred to the Space Force and remain in place to leverage the talent, infrastructure, and key capabilities at their current location.
The mission transfers are aligned with the White House’s Space Policy Directive-4 vision, which calls for the Space Force to “consolidate existing space forces and authorities for military space activities.”
“Building the U.S. Space Force represents a top priority for the Department of the Air Force,” said Barrett. “These mission transfers incorporate existing forces into the agile Space Force, which stands ready to defend American and allied interests.”
The list of affected units emerged from analysis and planning by Department of the Air Force planners who determined that transferring these missions would play a critical role in directly supporting space missions and related operational capabilities.
Approximately 1,840 Air Force billets will be transferred into the Space Force from across the 23 units.
Importantly, while the mission transfers will change the alignment of units themselves from the Air Force to the Space Force, these actions will not constitute a change in service for the people assigned. In the near term, military personnel will remain in the Air Force, although assigned to a unit in the Space Force. In the coming months, and when appropriate provisions are in place as part of a separate process, military members who meet applicable criteria will be given the opportunity to volunteer to transfer to the Space Force. If they choose not to transfer, they will remain in the Air Force and assigned to the Space Force unit until their normal assignment rotation is complete, at which time they will be moved to an assignment within the Air Force.
The status of civilians, as Department of the Air Force employees, is unchanged. Whether serving in Air Force or Space Force billets, civilians will remain DAF employees and have the ability to remain in their current positions, or apply for other positions across the department.
As the stand-up of the Space Force continues, additional space missions may be identified for transfer, which will be coordinated and approved by separate action. The following locations have been identified for a transfer action:
- 17th Test Squadron, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
- 18th Intel Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- 25th Space Range Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo.
- 328th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo.
- 705th Combat Training Squadron OL-A, Schriever AFB, Colo.
- 7th Intel Squadron, Fort Meade, Md. *
- 16th AF/Advanced Programs, * Schriever AFB, Colo.
- 32nd Intel Squadron, Fort Meade, Md. *
- 566th Intel Squadron, Buckley AFB, Colo. *
- 544th ISR Group Staff & Detachment 5, Peterson AFB, Colo.
- Detachment 1, USAF Warfare Center, Schriever AFB, Colo.
- 533rd Training Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
- National Security Space Institute, Peterson AFB, Colo.
- AFRL Research Lab Mission Execution, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio *
- AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M. *
- AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division, Edwards AFB, Calif. *
- AFRL Electro-Optical Division, Maui, Hawaii & Kirtland AFB, N.M. *
- AFRL Sensors Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio *
- Counter-Space Analysis Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- Space Analysis Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 4, Peterson AFB, Colo.
- Air Force Safety Center – Space Safety Division, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
* Partial mission transfer (i.e., size of a flight, branch or division or above)</em