Joe Biden names Lt. Gen. Bradley Chance Saltzman as next US Space Force chief

President Biden has named his pick for the next head of the US Space Force, a four-star general’s post that sits on the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On Wednesday, Biden nominated Lt. Gen. Bradley Chance Saltzman, the current deputy chief of Space Force operations, to be promoted to four-star general as chief of space operations.

The nomination will be referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee. If confirmed, he will replace General John “Jay” Raymond, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of military service, first in the Air Force and now in the Space Force.

General Raymond was the founding head of the Pentagon’s space branch which was created in December 2019.

About 16,000 military and civilian personnel were assigned to the Space Force when it was created. It is responsible for operating the country’s military satellite systems, among other tasks.

Lt. Gen. Saltzman’s military career focused on missile and space systems as a Minuteman III launch officer and satellite operator for the National Reconnaissance Office. He was previously Deputy Contingent Commander of US Air Force Central Command.

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