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U.S. Space Command Reaches Full Operational Capability

A Milestone Achievement

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The U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) has achieved full operational capability, marking a significant milestone in space defense. Gen. James Dickinson, USSPACECOM’s commander, made this announcement during a headquarters town hall meeting, underscoring the importance of this achievement for national security.

USSPACECOM’s Purpose

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USSPACECOM, established in 2019, has been committed to delivering exceptional capabilities to deter conflicts, safeguard vital interests, and respond to aggression when necessary. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the security and stability of space operations, which have become increasingly critical in modern warfare.

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Rigorous Evaluation

Space explorer in astronaut suit. Mixed media. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA — Illustration by SergeyNivens

Gen. Dickinson’s declaration follows a rigorous evaluation of USSPACECOM’s capabilities, ensuring readiness for the most challenging scenarios in the ever-evolving space domain. This assessment encompassed a wide range of factors, from personnel preparedness to advanced command processes.

Criteria for Full Operating Capability

To attain full operational capability, USSPACECOM had to meet specific criteria meticulously, including the readiness of human capital, established command processes, and functional preparedness. This meticulous process ensures that the command is fully equipped for its critical mission.

Recognized Adversaries

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Gen. Dickinson underscored the gravity of the situation by naming China and Russia as key adversaries whose space capabilities pose substantial threats to the United States. Their actions have heightened the urgency for the U.S. to bolster its defenses in space.

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 China’s Ambitions

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China’s ambitions in space are a cause for concern, with plans to become a significant space power by 2030 and expand its space station. This expansion raises questions about the potential weaponization of space assets and the need for vigilant monitoring.

Importance of Space Security

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The United States and its partners recognize the pressing need for military capabilities in space to counter threats from Beijing’s space systems. Ensuring the security of democracies requires a proactive stance in space security.

Collaborative Exercises

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USSPACECOM’s recent completion of its first training exercise with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command was a significant step in validating the headquarters staff as a ready, joint force. Such collaborative efforts are crucial for seamless operations.

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Continuing Challenges

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As the space domain becomes more complex, USSPACECOM acknowledges the need to enhance capabilities continuously. This commitment ensures the U.S. remains prepared to address emerging challenges and protect its interests.

Headquarters Location

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President Joe Biden’s decision to keep USSPACECOM’s headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, reflects the strategic importance of this location. This decision reversed former President Trump’s relocation plans and maintained continuity.

Colorado Senators’ Support

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Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado warmly welcome this decision, emphasizing the state’s pivotal role in U.S. leadership in space and national security. Their support underscores bipartisan recognition of space’s significance.

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Bipartisan Approval

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Rep. Doug Lamborn, chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, applauded USSPACECOM’s achievement. He emphasized the importance of Colorado Springs as its headquarters, reflecting bipartisan approval for its vital mission.

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