WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has nominated U.S. Air Force General John "Jay" Raymond to lead the U.S. Space Command, a new combatant command that will oversee the military's missions and war fighting in space.
As the Air Force's top space officer, Raymond was long-considered a favorite for the job. He is currently the commander of Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. If confirmed by the Senate for this newly established role, Raymond will run both U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command.
The latest revelation comes as the Pentagon works to lay the groundwork for Trump's proposed Space Force, a new sister service branch that would stand alongside the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. However, the creation of a sixth military branch, the first in 72 years, is dependent upon congressional approval.
Unlike the creation of a Space Force, the Pentagon can establish a U.S. Space Command without input from lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department is asking for $14.1 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget request to fund space operations. The $14.1 billion would allocate funding to several national security programs, from satellites to missile warning systems. Of the total, about $1.6 billion will fund improvements to space-based missile warning capabilities, a missing link in America's layered missile defense system.
The Air Force is also seeking $72.4 million to establish a headquarters for Space Force.