- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2019

The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Trump’s pick to lead the Pentagon’s new Space Command, Gen. John Raymond.

The four-star general will serve as both commander of the U.S. Space Command, which is likely to develop into a Space Force in the coming years under the pending National Defense Authorization Act, as well as commander of the Air Force Space Command.

Gen. Raymond’s nomination was the first to go before Congress since the 1999 nomination of Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart to lead Space Command, which was decommissioned three years later in 2002.

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The Trump White House reinstituted the command, putting it on par with organizations like U.S. Central Command and U.S. Cyber Command as part of Mr. Trump’s push to create the U.S. Space Force as a new military branch. Supporters of the new Space Force military branch argue Russian and Chinese efforts to militarize space are already chipping away at America’s dominance.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Raymond gave new details on what the command will look like and said it will have component commands from each of the services, similar to existing joint combatant commands.

“They will have operators in each one of those [components], they [will] develop capabilities that are integral to their service” under the larger umbrella of Space Command, he added.

While several lawmakers said that revamping U.S. Space Command would be an important first step, others expressed concerns over how the command will work with existing space operations handled by the Air Force and the intelligence community.

“Space is a joint warfighting business, [and] you have to have joint integration,” Gen. Raymond said, adding the refurbished Space Command will include component commands from each of the services, similar to existing joint combatant commands. “We cannot win this fight [in space] without this joint team.”

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