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United States Space Command
United States Space Command emblem.gif
U.S. Space Command emblem
Active 1985 - 2002
Country United States of America
Type Unified Combatant Command
Garrison/HQ Peterson AFB, Colorado

The United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) was a Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense, created in 1985 to help institutionalize the use of outer space by the United States Armed Forces. The Commander in Chief of U.S. Space Command (CINCUSSPACECOM), with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado was also 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 also the Commander of the U.S. Air Force major command Air Force Space Command. Military space operations coordinated by USSPACECOM proved to be very valuable for the U.S.-led coalition in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The U.S. military has relied on satellite communications, intelligence, navigation, missile warning and weather systems in areas of conflict since at least the early 1990s, including the Balkans, Southwest Asia and Afghanistan. Space systems have since then been considered as indispensable providers of tactical information to U.S. forces.

As part of the ongoing initiative to transform the U.S. military, on June 26, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that U.S. Space Command would merge with USSTRATCOM. The Unified Command Plan directed that Unified Combatant Commands be capped at ten, and with the formation of the new United States Northern Command, one would have to be deactivated in order to maintain that level. Thus the USSPACECOM merger into an expanded USSTRATCOM, which would retain the U.S. Strategic Command name and would be headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base. The merger was intended to improve combat effectiveness and speeds up information collection and assessment needed for strategic decision-making.

Within STRATCOM, responsibilities for space were first held by the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike until July 2006 when the command was divided. Space operations are now overseen by the Joint Functional Component Command for Space.

Awards and decorations

Joint Meritorious Unit Award: 2 August 1990 - 2 March 1991; 1 July 1992 - 26 August 1996; 1 January 1999 - 30 September 2002.


Name Photo Start End Notable offices held before or after
1 General Robert T. Herres, USAF General Robert Herres, military portrait, 1984.JPEG 1985 1987 1st Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1987–1990)
2 General John L. Piotrowski, USAF John L Piotrowski.jpg 1987 1990 22nd Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1985–1987)
3 General Donald J. Kutyna, USAF Donald Kutyna.jpg 1990 1992 Member of the Rogers Commission (1986–1988)
4 General Charles A. "Chuck" Horner, USAF Charles Horner.jpg 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 Joseph ashy.jpg September, 1994 August, 1996
6 General Howell M. Estes III, USAF Howell M Estes III.jpg August, 1996 August 14, 1998
7 General Richard B. Myers, USAF Richard Myers official portrait 2.jpg 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 Eberhart re.jpg February 22, 2000 October 1, 2002 27th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1997–1999)
Commander, United States Northern Command (2002–2005)

External links

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