Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson notified the congressional armed services committees Tuesday of a plan to create a new three-star position called “vice commander of Air Force Space Command,” SpaceNews reported Tuesday.
The job would be based in Washington rather than Colorado Springs where Air Force Space Command’s headquarters is located.
Congress rejected the Air Force’s previous push for the creation of a D.C.-based “deputy chief of staff for space” in favor of more modest bureaucratic changes in the Defense Department’s space programs in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The new authorization bill does, however, give the Air Force a legislative mandate to increase focus on space-based activities.
Air Force spokesman Maj. William Russell told SpaceNews the new three-star position would, “assist the commander of Air Force Space Command with his/her responsibility to organize, train and equip space forces.”
More recently, the vice commander post has been a job for two-star generals. Maj. Gen. David Thompson served in the job from July 2015 to July 2017. Since then, he has worked as a special assistant to the commander.