The new U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) is expected to launch within weeks according to a top-ranking Pentagon official, Air Force Times reported Wednesday.
Vice Adm. David Kriete, deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), spoke with reporters saying the formal launch of the new command is only weeks away.
“I think it’d probably be about weeks—we should see the actual establishment of US Space Command,” Kriete said according to the report. “I think we’re on a good track in terms of our planning.”
Kriete said the launch timeline for SPACECOM, which will assume space combat operations from STRATCOM, will be decided by new Defense Secretary Mark Esper, according to the report.
The Pentagon has not announced the site of the new SPACECOM headquarters, but its two major missions will be located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.
Officials are still determining which missions, resources, and authorities SPACECOM will assume and when while not diminishing the Pentagon’s current space defense activities, according to the report.
The new SPACECOM headquarters will run daily space operations using people and assets from the proposed new Space Force and other military space missions, the report said.
It is expected to initially employ more than 600, though DOD continues to determine the size, structure, and resource needs, according to the report.
The department’s fiscal 2020 budget request includes about $84 million to stand up the command.
Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker