TECHNOLOGY

Space and Missile Systems Center transforms to Space Systems Command (SSC)

On August 13, the United States Space Force (USSF) renamed Space and Missile Systems Center as their Space Systems Command (SSC). The latest command will be headquartered at SMC’s El Segundo location on the Los Angeles Air Force Base. It will be in charge of next-generation technology development, satellite procurement, and launch services.

Lieutenant General Michael Guetlein, Space Systems Command’s first commander, said SSC would play a vital role in the Space Force’s future at an event. “I am honored and humbled to be given the task of managing Space Systems Command at this momentous occasion,” Guetlein explained. Since July 2019, Guetlein has served as National Reconnaissance Office’s deputy director. The National Reconnaissance Office is part of the US intelligence community. It collaborates with Department of Defense (DoD) on the development, acquisition, launch, and operation of the country’s intelligence satellites. Guetlein worked at the Missile Defense Agency as the program executive officer before joining the NRO.

The hiring of an NRO officer to handle Space Force procurement is expected to be welcomed by lawmakers who have chastised the military space department for its delayed acquisition programs and urged it to employ a more streamlined procedure like the NRO. “Warfighting, as we recognize it, will have altered dramatically in ten years, and we must be prepared and enabled to stay up,” he stated. “We can’t just replace the nameplate from SMC to SSC. We need to be brave and go after the threat.” SSC has a $9 billion yearly budget and employs around 6,300 military, civilian, and contractor people.

SSC is the most recent redesignation of the historic Space and Missile Systems Center, which was founded in 1954 as Western Development Division, making it the US military’s oldest space institution. Space and Missile Systems Organization was created in 1967, and the Space and Missile Systems Center was created in 1992. It was moved from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Space Command in the year 2001, and it became part of the United States Space Force (USSF) in 2019.

The ceremony was presided over by the United States Space Force Chief in charge of the Space Operations General John Raymond. “Let us contemplate the connections between past and present as we unveil the Space Systems Command flag and start the new chapter in space history,” Raymond remarked. “The fantastic staff at SMC already has begun to change the culture and move the organization forward, so I am confident that SSC is going to rise to the occasion and sustain this trend.” “We must outrun our competition to maintain and grow our relative advantage,” Raymond remarked. “This is the incoming Space Systems Command’s challenge. You must not allow our capabilities to reach the end of their usefulness. You have a deadline to meet, and you must meet deadlines.”

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