The US Department of Defense (DoD) has officially designated the First Air Force as the Air Forces Space (AFSPACE).

It will be the fifth service component of the USSPACECOM, that achieved initial operational capability (IOC) on 3 May.

With the successful IOC, the AFSPACE will now provide airpower advocacy to support USSPACECOM’s various operations from, in and to the space.

US Space Command commander and US Army general James Dickinson said: “As USSPACECOM continues to achieve key milestones towards reaching full operational capability, the designation of AFSPACE and the realignment of Human Space Flight Support activities under AFSPACE demonstrates the rapid pace at which the command and components are moving to provide a safe and secure space environment.

“AFSPACE has achieved an initial operating capability, and like USSPACECOM, is at a point where it can credibly claim to be organised and effective for employing our enduring, no-fail supporting functions to the joint force and civil partners.”

Initially, the First Air Force was named as the USSPACECOM air component by US Air Force (USAF) chief of staff general CQ Brown in February last year.

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By GlobalData

The milestone followed the establishment of an operational planning team by the Air Combat Command’s (ACC) commander general Mark Kelly.

In July last year, the operational command and control of the Human Space Flight Support (HSFS) mission were undertaken by the First Air Force.

This mission is being executed by the First Air Force’s Detachment 3, which is based at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida.