Space Force establishes permanent presence in the Indo-Pacific region

U.S. Indo-Pacific Space Forces will be led by Brig. General Anthony Mastalir

WASHINGTON — On Nov. 22, Space Force officially established a unit within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the Department of Defense’s largest combat command. Based in Hawaii, US Indo-Pacom is responsible for operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Space Forces will initially consist of 21 service members led by Brig. General Anthony Mastalir, former commander of the space launch wing at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.

Despite its small size, the Indo-Pacific Space Forces will play an important role in supporting the US Indo-Pacom’s growing needs for space capabilities such as satellite navigation, communications and missile warning, reporters were told. Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations. tuesday.

This is the Space Force’s first formal establishment of a service component in a foreign combat command, a move prompted by China’s rise as a space power, Thompson said.

“We were very deliberate in choosing Indo-Pacom,” he said.

“Every day, Secretary of Defense [Lloyd] Austin reminds us of our pace challenge, and it’s China,” Thompson said. “Secretary of the Air Force [Frank] Kendall has another way of putting it. He just walked in and said, ‘China, China, China.’ »

In the coming months, Space Force plans to establish service components within U.S. Forces Korea (a sub-command within Indo-Pacom), U.S. Central Command, and U.S. European Command. .

Mastalir will report directly to Admiral John Aquilino, head of US Indo-Pacom. He will also report to the Pentagon to the Chief of Space Operations, General B. Chance Saltzman.

Thompson said Mastalir will be the person responsible for coordinating space support services from government and commercial satellites so Aquilino doesn’t have to deal with multiple agencies and companies. And he will be responsible for informing Saltzman of the needs of the US Indo-Pacom so that the Space Force can request the necessary funding.

Speaking Nov. 22 at the US Space Forces Indo-Pacom Command Activation Ceremony, Mastalir said space systems are critical in the region to “overcome the tyranny of distance”.

“Space enables access to otherwise off-limits areas, increases the range and lethality of our weapons systems, and space is key to our ability to project power when and where needed. location of our choice,” he said.

“We need to ensure that every Indo-Pacom fighter maximizes the combat effects available to United States Space Command, the intelligence community and, of course, commercial partners,” Mastalir said.

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