Thousands of members of Air Force space and space systems operations have been selected to begin transfer to the Space Force Sept. 1.

The 2,410 airmen selected were part of a larger pool of more than 8,500 volunteers for transfer, many of whom are not in a space operations career field. Volunteers serving in career fields shared by the Air Force and Space Force will undergo their own selection process, scheduled in late July for officers and sometime in the fall for enlisted airmen.

Those selected in these boards are expected to begin transfer on Feb. 1, 2021. Career fields shared between the Space Force and Air Force include acquisitions, intelligence, engineering, targeting and cyber specialties.

“This is an exciting and historic time for these space operators, who will be some of the first members to join the Space Force,” said Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson, vice commander of the Space Force, in a press release.

Each operator transferred will be responsible for contributing ideas that will shape the Space Force in to a modern service, Thompson said.

Because the Air Force will cease to oversee space operations, airmen in space operations career fields who chose not to volunteer for transfer must apply for retraining in a new career field, separation or retirement, or a transition to a reserve component of the Air Force.

The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard will continue to execute space missions in support of the Space Force until a decision is made about the status of a Space Force reserve component.

Army soldiers and Navy sailors necessary to the Space Force’s mission will not begin transfer until fiscal years 2022-23. More details on interservice transfer are expected in fiscal 2021.

Harm Venhuizen is an editorial intern at Military Times. He is studying political science and philosophy at Calvin University, where he's also in the Army ROTC program.

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