From the wild blue yonder to the final frontier, 23 agencies with space-specific missions will transition from the Air Force to Space Force in the coming months. Air Force and other enlisted service members can now apply for positions within the sixth and newest military service, which was signed into existence by U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 20, 2019.
Space Force is operating with the aid of 16,000 airmen detailed on a temporary basis from what was formerly known as Air Force Space Command.
The May 1 opening to accept applications sees Air Force personnel who were assigned in December being officially commissioned into Space Force, according to Gen. David “DT” Thompson, vice commander of Space Force, speaking at a webinar hosted by Space News yesterday. Thompson said that Air Force space operators who request a transfer will likely be accepted.
The application window will close on May 31 and transfers will begin on Sept. 1, affecting 6,000 to 7,000 service personnel, Gen. Thompson said. Enlisted members will re-enlist directly into the Space Force.
“This is a historic time to be in the space business,” Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations for the Space Force and head of U.S. Space Command, said in a press release Wednesday. The general said he was “excited to extend the opportunity to our active-duty Air Force members to officially transfer into the Space Force.”
Guardsmen and reservists who are already executing space missions and currently aligned with the Space Force will continue supporting it, according to the press release. A Space Force component is still being determined.
“Building the U.S. Space Force represents a top priority for the Department of the Air Force,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said. “These mission transfers incorporate existing forces into the agile Space Force, which stands ready to defend American and allied interests.”