Saltzman Confirmed as Next Head of U.S. Space Force

Saltzman Confirmed as Next Head of U.S. Space Force

Lt. Gen. Bradley Chance Saltzman was confirmed this week to be the new Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force. His promotion to General was also approved. Saltzman will be only the second person to serve as CSO, succeeding Gen. Jay Raymond who took the reins the moment Space Force became a reality on December 20, 2019.

Raymond made a lot of progress creating this new military service, part of the Department of the Air Force, but there still is much work to do. A driving rationale for separating the Space Force from the Air Force was to improve acquisition of space systems. Accelerating delivery of next-generation space capabilities is still a work in progress.

Space Force was created by the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019. It is the sixth military service, joining the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, and the first new service since 1947 when the Air Force separated from the Army.

The services “organize, train, and equip” personnel and make them ready for assignment to the 11 unified combatant commands that are responsible for warfighting. Space Force personnel primarily support U.S. Space Command, led by Gen. James Dickinson.

Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman testifying at his Senate confirmation hearing, September 13, 2022. His promotion to General was confirmed at the same time as his assignment as Chief of Space Operations. Screengrab.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 13, Saltzman cited China as “the most immediate threat.”

“The most immediate threat, in my opinion, is the pace with which our strategic challengers — first and foremost the Chinese — are aggressively pursuing capabilities that can disrupt, degrade and ultimately even destroy our satellite capabilities and disrupt our ground infrastructure.”

He vowed to ensure Space Force is ready to support the combatant commands “to deter threats to our space capabilities and interests, and to promote responsible behaviors in space.”

Saltzman (who goes by B. Chance rather than Bradley) has worked in missile and space systems throughout his military career, rising up the ranks of the Air Force and Air Force Space Command before the Space Force was created. He was promoted to Lieutenant General and U.S. Space Force Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber and Nuclear in 2020.

The Senate confirmed his nomination to be CSO and his promotion to General on September 29.

Gen. Raymond tweeted congratulations.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.