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Trump nominates Air Force general to lead US space command

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-03-27 15:41

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has nominated General John Raymond to lead the US Space Command to be established soon, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Raymond, who currently serves as the commander of Air Force Space Command based at Peterson Air Force Base in the state of Colorado, will serve in both posts for an undetermined period of time if confirmed by the Senate, according to a Pentagon statement.

The Space Command will focus on conducting all joint space warfighting operations and ensuring the combat readiness of global forces, said the statement.

Raymond was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force in 1984 and has held various posts in the Air Force's space enterprise.

Trump ordered the establishment of Space Command late last year, making it the 11th unified combatant command of the US Department of Defense.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told Congress Tuesday that the launch of the Space Development Agency should be the next priority following the Space Command's creation.

Trump has also advocated creating an independent Space Force, the sixth branch of the military, but the proposal, unlike establishing the Space Command, requires congressional approval and has been pushed back by Democratic lawmakers.

Analysts say the new command is separate from the administration's plan to build an independent Space Force, but could be a step in that direction.

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