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The United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) was a Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense, created in 1985 to coordinate the use of outer space by the United States Armed Forces.[1] The Commander in Chief of U.S. Space Command (CINCUSSPACECOM) also functioned as the Commander in Chief of the binational U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (CINCNORAD), and for the majority of time during USSPACECOM's existence, was also as the Commander of Air Force Space Command.

United States Space Command
United States Space Command emblem.gif
U.S. Space Command emblem
Country United States
TypeUnified Combatant Command
Garrison/HQPeterson AFB, Colorado

In 2018 it was announced that U.S. Space Command would be reactivated as a unified combatant command.




United States Space Command was established in 1985 to provide joint command and control of the Air Force, Army, and Navy's space forces.[2]

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the armed forces' focus homeland defense and counter-terrorism was significantly increased, which resulted in space being deemphasized. It was in this context that the unified command plan was reevaluated, resulting in U.S. Northern Command being established for the defense of the North American continent, while U.S. Space Command was merged with U.S. Strategic Command, where it became the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike. In 2006 this would be replaced by the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, and in 2017 be reorganized as the Joint Force Space Component Commander[3]


The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law in 2018, directed the reestablishment of U.S. Space Command as a sub-unified combatant command under U.S. Strategic Command, however in December it was directed that U.S. Space Command will instead be reestablished as a full unified combatant command, with full responsibilities for space warfighting held under U.S. Strategic Command.[4] [5]


Name Photo Start End Notable offices held before or after
1 General Robert T. Herres, USAF   1985 1987 1st Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1987–1990)
2 General John L. Piotrowski, USAF   1987 1990 22nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1985–1987)
3 General Donald J. Kutyna, USAF   1990 1992 Member of the Rogers Commission (1986–1988)
4 General Charles A. "Chuck" Horner, USAF   June, 1992 September, 1994 Commander, 9th Air Force, and Commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces (1987–1992), he led U.S. and allied air operations for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
5 General Joseph W. Ashy, USAF   September, 1994 August, 1996
6 General Howell M. Estes III, USAF   August, 1996 August 14, 1998
7 General Richard B. Myers, USAF   August 14, 1998 February 22, 2000 5th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2000–2001)
15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001–2005)
8 General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF   February 22, 2000 October 1, 2002 27th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1997–1999)
Commander, United States Northern Command (2002–2005)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Handberg, Roger (2000). Seeking New World Vistas: The Militarization of Space. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN 0275962954.
  2. ^ Pike, John. "United States Space Command". Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Trump Signs National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019". AIP. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  5. ^ Donald J Trump (18 December 2018). "Text of a Memorandum from the President to the Secretary of Defense Regarding the Establishment of the United States Space Command". The White House. Retrieved 20 December 2018.

External linksEdit