By Jennifer Thibault | Joint Task Force-Space Defense Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Joint Task Force-Space Defense leadership deviated from the regularly scheduled program to celebrate the Space Force’s first birthday during its weekly operations and intelligence meeting at Schriever Air Force Base, Dec. 17.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Christopher Povak, JTF-SD deputy commander, kicked off the event celebrating the new service’s last moments of infancy and highlighting some of the milestones achieved in its first year.
“Over the past year, the Space Force has been focused on five key areas under the Chief of Space Operations leadership: developing our people, developing space doctrine, establishing the Space Force’s own budget, designing our force and presenting those forces to the joint command,” he said.
Some key markers of those efforts include transferring 2,400 personnel into the service with 6,400 planned by the end of 2021. Of those, two were commissioned through Officer Training School and 86 directly commissioned from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Seven basic military trainees graduated and directly enlisted into the Space Force.
The Space Force published its first independent capstone document and released its first planning guidance. Additionally, it collapsed two layers of commands and renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base aligning the installation names with their critical missions.
In presenting forces to a joint command, the service also stood up the Space Operations Command, its first field command, and is currently focused on delivering space capabilities and expertise to U.S. Space Command.
Two key Space Command leaders supported the JTF-SD’s modest celebration.
“It has been a stellar first year and I am so grateful for your commitment to protecting and defending this new warfighting domain. You are all on the front lines facing and responding to threats in the space domain and are the very incarnation of why we have a Space Force and U.S. Space Command today.” said Space Force Lt. Gen. John Shaw, USSPACECOM deputy commander, in an email to team. “I look forward to celebrating many more United States Space Force birthdays with the fantastic space warriors of JTF-SD and USSPACECOM.”
“Thank you for all you do in service to our great nation,” said Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker, U.S. Space Command’s command senior enlisted leader, during the call. “Happy birthday Space Force.”
The brief event was held virtually to reach the physically distanced and teleworking team members, though all joined together in singing the Happy Birthday song to the newest service.
“Happy birthday Space Force,” said Povak. “Together, over the past year, we have accomplished a great deal and established a firm foundation for our new service. However, there is much still to do and the nation is relying on us to succeed. So our story, ladies and gentlemen, has just begun. Semper Supra.”