USSF field command structure reduces command layers, focuses on space warfighter needs

The Department of the Air Force and the United States Space Force have finalized the new service’s organizational structure for echelons below the headquarters, reflecting the newest branch of the armed forces’ guiding principles of being a lean, agile and mission-focused organization.

U.S. Space Force organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect and defend U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.

The Department of the Air Force and the United States Space Force have finalized the new service’s organizational structure for echelons below the headquarters, reflecting the newest branch of the armed forces’ guiding principles of being a lean, agile and mission-focused organization.
The USSF field organization will consist of three echelons of command, where the Air Force currently is organized into five echelons. USSF’s organizational structure will initially consolidate and align all organize, train and equip mission execution from former Air Force space-related units.

“This is the most significant restructuring of space units undertaken by the United States since the establishment of Air Force Space Command in 1982,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. “Innovation and efficiency are driving our mission as we position the Space Force to respond with agility to protect our nation’s space capabilities and the American way of life.”

In order of hierarchy, the USSF field echelons are named field commands, deltas and squadrons. There will be three field commands aligned with specific mission focuses: Space Operations Command, Space Systems Command, and Space Training and Readiness Command. SpOC and SSC will be led by three-star general officers, and STARCOM will be led by a two-star general.

Deltas will be O-6 led and will be organized around a specific function – operations, installation support, training, etc.

Within the deltas will be squadrons focused on specific tactics. When the field command structure is fully implemented, it will eliminate one general officer echelon and one O-6 echelon of command. Functions formerly performed at the eliminated echelons will be realigned where appropriate within the USSF. 

“This is an historic opportunity to launch the Space Force on the right trajectory to deliver the capabilities needed to ensure freedom of movement and deter aggression in, from and to space,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, USSF chief of space operations. “How we organize the Space Force will have a lasting impact on our ability to respond with speed and agility to emerging threats in support of the National Defense Strategy and Space Strategy.”

SpOC will be the primary force provider of space forces and capabilities for combatant commanders, coalition partners, the joint force and the nation. 

The staff and operations elements of USSF at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, which is also the former AFSPC, will become the headquarters SpOC.

There is an existing unit at Vandenberg AFB, California, named Space Operations Command, which will be renamed upon activation of the field command SpOC.

SSC will be responsible for developing, acquiring, and fielding lethal and resilient space capabilities for war-fighters.

Additionally, SSC will be responsible for launch, developmental testing, on-orbit checkout, and sustainment and maintenance of USSF space systems, as well as oversight of USSF science and technology activities. 

Acquisition and development organizations to include the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, and program offices of space systems transferring to USSF from other DoD organizations will form the building blocks of the new command, which will be built out in the months to come.

STARCOM will train and educate space professionals, and develop combat-ready space forces to address the challenges of the war-fighting domain of space.  Complete stand up of STARCOM is scheduled for 2021. 

In the interim, a provisional Space Training and Readiness Delta, led by an O-6, will be established in July at Peterson AFB.  This unit will serve as the parent organization for a number of education, training, and operational test and evaluation units transferring to the Space Force in summer 2020.

The next activities to stand up USSF field organizations include activation of SpOC, SSC and deltas beginning later in summer. 

Blogs to Follow: (July 2020) USSF field command structure reduces command layers, focuses on space warfighter needs

48th Fighter Wing downed aircraft, pilot found deceased

The aircraft, from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board at the time of the crash. U.K. search and rescue were called to support.

One pilot was killed when their U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed at approximately 9:40 a.m (BST) June 15, in the North Sea.

The name of the deceased pilot is being withheld until 24 hours after the next of kin have been notified.

The aircraft, from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board at the time of the crash. U.K. search and rescue were called to support.

Earlier, rescuers found the wreckage of the jet that was on a routine training mission from RAF Lakenheath when it crashed at 9:40 a.m. The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately clear. 

Britain’s coast guard located wreckage from the downed fighter, and recovery efforts were underway, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.

Coast guard officials said in a statement that they received reports the plane went down 74 nautical miles off Flamborough Head on the Yorkshire coast.

(Update) The pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle from the 48th Fighter Wing has been located and confirmed deceased. The name of the pilot will not be released until all next of kin notifications have been made.

This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community, and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.;; (June 2020) 48th Fighter Wing downed aircraft, pilot found deceased; Pilot of US Air Force jet that crashed in North Sea is dead; UPDATE: 48th Fighter Wing downed pilot located

B-1B Lancers return to Indo-Pacific for bomber task force deployment

The U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers have returned to the Indo-Pacific region on May 1 to conduct bomber task force operations out of Andersen Air Base, Guam.

Four bombers and approximately 200 Airmen from the 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to support Pacific Air Forces‘ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

Three B-1Bs flew to Andersen AFB while one split off and flew down east of Japan to conduct training with U.S. Navy assets operating in the region before heading to Andersen AFB.

“Deployments like this allow our Airmen to enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe,” said Col. Ed. Sumangil, 7th BW commander. “It also provides a valuable opportunity to better integrate with our allies and partners through joint and combined operations and exercises.”

In line with the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the Bomber Task Force enables a mix of different types of strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and continental U.S. locations with greater operational resilience.

“The B-1 provides all of the training opportunities which the B-52 (Stratofortress) provided, plus the ability to train to advanced standoff, anti-surface warfare with (Long Range Anti-Surface Missiles),” said Lt. Col. Frank Welton, PACAF’s chief of operations force management.

The B-1 can carry the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force.

“The B-1 is able to carry a larger payload of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and a larger payload of 2,000-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munitions,” Welton said. “Additionally, the B-1 is able to carry the LRASM, giving it an advanced standoff, counter-ship capability. It also has an advanced self-protection suite and is able to transit at supersonic speeds to enhance offensive and defensive capabilities.”

The last time the B-1s were deployed to the region was in 2017. Bombers from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron supported missions from Andersen AFB, conducting multiple sequenced bilateral missions with the South Korean air force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

“Our wing has conducted, and participated in, a variety of exercises over the last year to ensure we are primed for large-scale missions such as this one,” Sumangil said. “We’re excited to be back in Guam and proud to continue to be part of the ready bomber force prepared to defend America and its allies against any threat.”

The last BTF deployed to the Pacific was in January 2019 when three B-2 Spirits and approximately 200 Airmen from the 393rd Bomb Squadron from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, deployed to Hawaii.

The squadron conducted 37 sorties for a total of 171 hours. Eight of the missions were integration operations with F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron, 154th Wing, and Hawaii Air National Guard. (May 2020) B-1B Lancers return to Indo-Pacific for bomber task force deployment

Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson Primary election success with endorsement by Combat Veterans for Congress

Support for Decorated Air Force Veteran Growing Rapidly in Highly Contested Race

On Monday, the Combat Veterans for Congress PAC endorsed Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert “Buzz” Patterson for the 7th Congressional District election in November 2020 and was announced today by Mimi Soros, campaign manager for Buzz Patterson for Congress.

Patterson, a decorated veteran, former White House aide, community leader, and commercial airline pilot, is the Republican candidate in a highly competitive district representing southern and eastern Sacramento County, California.

Patterson’s more than 32,000 votes in the March primary election nearly equaled those cast for the incumbent and easily qualified him for the 2020 general election in November.

Although historically Democratic, the district has been rated “even” by the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

Patterson’s campaign is focusing on reducing his District’s high unemployment, addressing problems caused by illegal immigration, improving economic growth and lack of affordable health care in the District, issues which, after two terms in Washington, D.C., are plaguing his opponent’s campaign and track record showing a lack of focus on the District’s most important local issues.

In the endorsement, Combat Veterans for Congress PAC praised Patterson’s dedication to local leadership and service to the nation, stating “in Buzz Patterson we have a combat veteran who General George Washington would have approved of. Buzz is a veteran who wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount “up to and including his life.”

Patterson is a fiscally conservative candidate who will work to reduce the national debt, strengthen US Armed Forces, protect freedom of religion and speech and defend traditional family values.

 “I am dedicated to helping my constituents solve important local problems being ignored by those in Washington, so am truly grateful for the endorsement of Combat Veterans for Congress PAC,” Patterson stated. “Their support will help us greatly in the District and throughout our state in November.”

Combat Veterans for Congress PAC joins an impressive roster of endorsements for Patterson that includes the California GOP, Sean Hannity, Brandon Straka (WalkAway), LAGOP, Sacramento County Republican Assembly, and former Chairman of the California GOP and conservative political leader and commentator, Tom DelBeccaro.

Patterson also received endorsements from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, National Right to Life, the California Republican Assembly, the Cosumnes Republican Assembly, California State Senator Jim Nielsen, former California State Senator Ted Gaines, and popular conservative radio talk show hosts, Mark Larson and Phil Cowan.

Patterson served 20 years as a United States Air Force pilot, was a former Senior Military Aide to President Bill Clinton, and recipient of numerous military commendations, including the Defense Superior Service and Air Force Air Medals.

His tours of duty included world-wide and combat operations in Grenada, Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bosnia.

While serving at the White House, Patterson was responsible for the “Nuclear Football,” the satchel containing the nation’s nuclear capability that always accompanies the President and was commander of all White House military personnel and operations.

He is a member of the Air Force Association, the Airlift Tanker Association, the NRA, American Legion, and the VFW.

A Republican and a native of North Carolina, Patterson and his family moved to California following his retirement from military service in 2001 to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot, writer, speaker, and community leader.

More information can be found at

MEDIA CONTACT: Mimi Soros 916-470-8737/
Peter Bylsma 310-795-8532/ (March 2020) Support for Decorated Air Force Veteran Growing Rapidly in Highly Contested Race

Hill Air Force Base has announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case

A Hill Air Force Base member is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 we have at the base.

“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col Jon Eberlan, 75th Air Base Wing commander. “The continued safety and well-being of the installation is my top priority. We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

Hill AFB declared a public health emergency on March 19 and is in Health Protection Condition Bravo to reflect the current situation posed by COVID-19 and the risk of exposure to personnel.

Hill AFB officials are working closely with the Utah Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area. We are regularly providing installation personnel and their families with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities.

We encourage all Air Force personnel and their families to continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. People should not shake hands, and routinely disinfect all commonly used surfaces. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick.

“We are encouraging all personnel to follow Force Health Protection guidelines to safeguard our community to prevent widespread outbreak, and adhere to travel advisories and restrictions,” Eberlan said.

Hill AFB leadership will continually monitor the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available. (March 2020) Hill AFB announces first confirmed COVID-19 case