Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. sent up its first entry into the space freight business Wednesday, September 18, 2013, with the launch of a new unmanned cargo carrier to the International Space Station. It's the first flight for the company's Cygnus spacecraft and the second for its Antares booster rocket. Liftoff was at 10:58 a.m. Wednesday at NASA's launch facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, about 90 miles north of Norfolk. (32680)
Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. sent up its first entry into the space freight business Wednesday, September 18, 2013, with the launch of a new unmanned cargo carrier to the International […] Credit: NASA

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) released the organizational structure for its new Space Systems Command (SSC) on April 8. The Command is set to officially stand up this summer once all required conditions are met to re-designate the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo as SSC headquarters.

SSC will rapidly identify, prototype, and field innovative, space-based solutions to deliver swift and responsive space capabilities to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy.

“Space Systems Command’s organizational structure was purpose-built to anticipate and be responsive to the challenges presented by a contested space domain,” said Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, USSF chief of space operations.

SSC will be responsible for developing, acquiring, equipping, fielding, and sustaining resilient space capabilities to enhance joint lethality. This includes launch, developmental testing, on-orbit checkout, and sustainment. SSC will also provide strategic oversight of USSF science and technology activities.

One of the required conditions to establish SSC will be met after a USSF general officer is nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to fill the position of the three-star general officer SSC commander.

Upon official establishment, additional units will realign from the Air Force to the Space Force or re-designate as part of SSC. As these units and mission sets realign to the Space Force and SSC, military and civilian personnel in those units will also be assigned to the new armed service. No geographic moves of personnel or units are anticipated as a result of actions required to establish this Field Command.

The USSF organizational structure for echelons below the service headquarters is designed to support a lean, agile and mission-focused force. In order of hierarchy, the USSF field echelons are named field commands, deltas or garrisons, and squadrons. There are three planned field commands aligned to specific mission focuses, of which SSC will be the second established.

The other two field commands are Space Operations Command (SpOC) and the planned Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM). SpOC was established Oct. 21, 2020, and is responsible for organizing,

training, and equipping fielded space forces who execute space warfighting operations for combatant commanders, coalition partners, the joint force, and the nation. STARCOM will oversee training, education and professional development of units and personnel, doctrine development, and operational test of fielded systems.

“The US Air Force has just announced that Space Force will be setting up one of three Space Systems Commands at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo.” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This is huge news for our region. The LA Air Force Base isn’t just the anchor for thousands of jobs in SoCal’s aerospace industry — it is the brain trust of the Air Force. Today’s move is a resounding vote of confidence by the Federal Government in what has long been a pillar of our local economy — and in the talented people who work there.”