The U.S. Space Command is set to be up and running on August 29, Vice President Mike Pence said today at a meeting of the National Space Council.
Following August 29th, the Space Command will consist of 87 people under the direction of Gen. John Raymond, the current commander of Air Force Space Command.
Space Command vs. Space Force: In late 2020, the Pentagon is expected to have the Space Force military branch running. While Space Command and Space Force are similar, they’re different entities. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan explained via Twitter, "The Space Force will serve as a force provider for personnel, assets, and capabilities supporting space operations, while Space Command will serve as the operational command that will employ space capabilities and lead space operations." Once the two organizations are both up and running, "the differences between Space Force and U.S. Space Command will largely parallel those of the other five military services and four functional combatant commands," he added.
Establishment of the Space Force still requires Congressional funding approval, a step Pence state would happen soon.
What he said: "The United States Space Force will ensure that our nation is prepared to defend our people, defend our interests, and to defend our values in the vast expanse of space and here on Earth with the technologies that will support our common defense for the vast reaches of outer space," Pence said.
In the future, the program - which will start as a division of the U.S. Air Force - will be the sixth U.S. armed service, joining the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.