U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated the head of the Air Force Space Command, General John F. Raymond, to lead the new unified combatant command for space.
The president nominated Raymond for “commander, U.S. Space Command; and commander,” Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.
Trump in December ordered the Department of Defense to create “Space Command,” a new organizational structure that will control military space operations.
Space Command is separate from the “Space Force” branch of the military Trump has said he wants to create and which has faced resistance from Congress.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said at the time that Space Command will “develop the space doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures” for the whole of the armed forces.
SpaceCom will be the Pentagon’s 11th combatant command and will be equal with Central Command in the Middle East, Africa Command, or the recently renamed Indo-Pacific Command in Asia.
Trump’s “Space Force” would be a sixth and new branch of the military equal with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.
Raymond was commissioned in 1984 through the ROTC program at Clemson University in 1984 and was promoted to general in 2016.
Before assuming command of Air Force Space Command in 2016, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C.
He previously commanded the 5th Space Surveillance Squadron at Royal Air Force Base Feltwell in the United Kingdom, the 30th Operations Group at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and the 14th Air Force, U.S. Strategic Command, Joint Functional Component Command for Space.
He will continue to serve as Air Force Space Command chief, Shanahan said.