Air Force officials have named First Air Force to serve as the future air component to U.S. Space Command.
“The U.S. Air Force is a critical contributor to the U.S. Space Command mission as evidenced by their support to Human Space Flight,” U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, USSPACECOM commander, said. “We welcome First Air Force to our joint team.”
First Air Force is slated to continue providing uninterrupted air component support to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, officials said, in addition to exercising command and control over Air Force forces supporting U.S. Space Command.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. said First Air Force was the natural choice to serve as Air Force component to U.S. Space Command.
“In this new role, First Air Force will be better able to identify and address gaps and seams when integrating spacepower into the support of the homeland defense mission,” he said. “This will also inform efforts to better fuse space operations into air operations centers around the globe.”
Air Combat Command plans how to organize, train, and equip First Air Force for the new role. The new air component is currently expected to achieve initial operating capability by the end of the 2021 calendar year.