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Space Force Systems Command to be Headquartered in Los Angeles

April 8, 2021 by Reece Nations

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The United States Space Force announced Thursday it will establish a Space Systems Command headquarters at Los Angeles Air Force Base to oversee and coordinate all military space programs.

The Space Systems Command of the USSF will supervise technological developments related to space operations and the management of launch services and satellites. The new field command structure of the military’s youngest branch will be an opportunity for officials to reduce bureaucratic layers of the force’s operations.  

The systems command will be one of three field commands under the branch’s control following the creation of the force’s Space Operations Command last year, TWN previously reported. The third command, one that will oversee space readiness and training, is expected to open later this year. 

The force’s newly minted systems command will take over for the Space and Missile Systems Center currently headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base, according to SpaceNews. In addition, the new command will assume the duties of the Space Force’s launch wings in Florida and California that are not currently under the missile systems center’s jurisdiction. 

As the force’s organizational structure takes shape, it will ultimately come under the leadership of Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations. As an official branch of the U.S. military, the field commands await a presidential nomination for each of their respective leaders followed by Senate confirmation to the posts. 

Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, told SpaceNews that he expects the systems command to be operational by this summer, although the exact timeline depends on when President Joe Biden’s nominees are confirmed by a Senate vote. 

“This is a critical investment in California’s vital aerospace and defense industries, and it represents a slew of new good-paying jobs as we continue to rebuild our economy better than before,” California Gov. Gavin Newsome said in a written statement. “My administration (sic) made it a priority to push for more federal investment in the defense aerospace industry, and this new Space Systems Command – which will have nationwide authority over launches and procurement – is a big win for the innovation economy that has made California the nation’s engine of transformative growth, technology and ideas.” 

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