The drive and determination among Space Force guardians will continue to define the nation’s newest military service as it meets the demands of the future, the chief of space operations said today.

Space Force Gen. Chance Saltzman said in the few years since the creation of the Space Force, it has introduced a level of clarity and focus as the Defense Department confronts the frontier domain that will define warfare in the future.

Since Day 1, Saltzman said, the Space Force has remained committed to meeting its charge of creating a lean, operationally-focused organization; increasing acquisition speed and arming the warfighter with space-based capabilities; integrating space efforts across allies and commercial partners; and building a cadre of military professionals who are laser focused on countering threats within the space domain.  

“The Space Force from Day 1 accepted these challenges, and it’s on a path to meeting them,” Saltzman said during an address at the Air and Space Forces Association Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colorado.  

“In at least one effort, I think we’ve already succeeded,” he said. “I’m here to tell you that Space Force guardians are the best in class. The guardian spirit is shining through. Everywhere I go, I see a sense of urgency. I see a seriousness about the threat. I see dedication to improvement and addressing shortfalls.” 

It is that pervasive commitment that Saltzman said gives him the confidence that the Space Force is on the right path toward meeting its mission well into the future, he said.

Saltzman noted that guardians represent less than 1% of total active personnel within DOD, and the Space Force represents just 3% of the full department budget.

“Despite those numbers, the entire military satellite communication enterprise, all aspects of both strategic and theater missile warning [systems], and the position navigation and timing constellations — missions that are vital to the success of the joint force — fall to the guardians to operate, sustain and protect,” he said.  

“This has got to be the greatest bargain in the Department of Defense,” he said. “Not just in [the] critical capabilities and indispensable service that we provide to the joint force …, but also in the force-multiplying value our guardians bring to the fight wherever they’re called on to support.” 

While celebrating the Space Force’s success, Saltzman said the service continues to strive toward building a force postured for great power competition and the future of war.  

“I’m in awe of how far we’ve come in four short years,” he said. “I’m excited for where we’re going in the future.” 

He noted that the Space Force has made a significant impact with just 14,000 military and civilian personnel — a small footprint when compared to other services.

“But just because we’ve come a long way does not mean we have arrived,” he said. “And let me be clear on this point: It is also true that no team is more capable of getting us ready for war than the guardians of the Space Force.”

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