Space Force: Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Says Guardians Exist to Deal With Space Threats

Sooner or later, the United States Space Force expects to face incoming threats from the cosmos. During a virtual panel this week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. John E. Hyten told guests he feels there's reason to believe other countries around the world — namely, China and Russia — are developing anti-satellite weaponry to launch into space. As such, Gen. Hyten says the Space Force partially exists to counter any attacks foreign countries may launch among the stars.

"Russia and China are building capabilities to challenge us in space because if they can challenge us in space, they understand as dependent as we are in space capabilities that they can challenge us as a nation," Hyten said during the National Security Space Association's Space Time event on Friday.

He added, "Therefore, it is our responsibility as leaders of the defense enterprise to make sure that we continue to educate the population about the threats that we face and, then, put forth recommendations to deal with those threats in a rapid, responsive way."

The United States Space Force was officially formed on December 20, 2019, after then-president Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 into law. Upon signing, the bill created the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Late last year, the group announced it was skipping traditional naming methods for its service members. Instead of calling them soldiers or airmen, the Space Force has now opted to call its service members guardians.

"Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians," the account tweeted.

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The official mission statement for the United States Space Force can be found below.

"The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands."

Cover photo by Samuel Corum/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images