September 22 (WNN) — The US Space Force will take over satellite communications billets, funding and mission responsibility from the US Army and Navy, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
The transfer, which involves a total of 15 global units with 319 military and 259 civilian billets, is set to take effect October 1, if the Defense Department’s budget is passed and signed.
“We are a team with our sister services and over the past year and a half we have worked with the Army and the Navy and the Air Force to determine what capabilities come with the Space Force,” said General John W. “Jay” Raymond, chief of space missions, according to a Defense Department news release.
“The intention was to strengthen (and) increase our operational capability, increase our preparedness and do this in a more efficient manner,” Raymond said.
Raymond made the announcement on Tuesday during a meeting of the Air Force Association in Washington.
“We need to build this unity of effort around our space missions so that we can meet the challenges we face,” said Space Force Lieutenant General B. Chance Saltzman.
“The space domain has become increasingly overcrowded and far more competitive … than when I was a lieutenant or captain operating space capabilities,” Saltzman said.
The transfer will involve 76 manpower authorities and 13 satellites from the Navy’s narrow band satellite group.
On the Army side, the transfer will involve 500 manpower authorities, five SATCOM operations centers and four regional SATCOM support centers, for an operation total of approximately $78 million.
Army and Navy personnel will not be obliged to transfer to the Space Force, but must volunteer to transfer.
The transfer is the latest attempt at building up the Space Force. 50 active-duty Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel were selected to transfer to the branch in July and test integration efforts.
The Space Force was established in 2019 and welcomed its first personnel in 2020, when 2,410 active-duty Air Force personnel volunteered for reassignment to the branch.
In August, the Space Force activated its Space Training and Readiness Command. It was the third and last field command to be activated by the branch, after the Space Operations Command and the Space Systems Command.
US Space Command also achieved operational capability in August.
On Tuesday, the branch released prototypes of its new dress uniforms.