Space Force Takes Over All Satellite Communications in U.S. Military

The Army transferred some of its satellite operations to the Space Force on Monday, marking the latest move to reorganize and grow the youngest branch of the United States military.

In addition to control of the communication satellites, 500 people will transfer from the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, based in Huntsville, Alabama, to Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado as part of the expansion.

“This historic transfer from the Army to the Space Force will mark the first time all Department of Defense military satellite communication functions have been consolidated under a single military service,” the Space Force wrote in a press release.  

The Army transferred roughly $78 million of its budget to Space Force for 2022 to help expand the services infrastructure.

Lt. General Bradley Chance Saltzman, Space Force’s current Deputy Chief of Operations who was nominated by President Joe Biden as the next leader of the service, said in a statement lsat year that consolidating the military’s satellites is a necessity.

“We need to create this unity of effort around our space missions to ensure we’re up to those challenges that we face, because the space domain has rapidly become far more congested, and far more contested than … when I was a lieutenant or a captain operating space capabilities,” Saltzman said.

The transfers from the Army came from the 53rd Signal Battalion which has an illustrious history participating in several noteworthy military campaigns including France, Italy, and Tunisia during World War II; as well as counteroffensives during the Vietnam War, and supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and the New Dawn in the Middle East.

Some of the Army personnel will transfer to detachments located in Maryland, Hawaii, Germany, and Japan. On top of that, approximately 200 civilians will transfer from the Department of the Army to the Department of the Air Force as a result of the move, according to Space Force.

In June, the Naval Satellite Operations Center — NAVSOC — at Naval Base Ventura County in Mugu, California, was placed under the Space Force’s Space Delta 8 and designated as the new 10th Space Operations Squadron.

Many of the Army and Navy transfers were supped to happen at the beginning of 2022, but because of Congress delay in passing last year’s budget, it didn’t happen until now.

Space Force was created in 2019 by President Donald J. Trump, and it relied heavily on inter service transfers to grow its ranks. Just last year, 670 active-duty soldiers, sailors, and marines were selected to transfer into the military’s newest branch, growing it by nearly 10%.

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