Senate confirms Saltzman as next chief of the U.S. Space Force

Saltzman succeeds Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, who is retiring after 38 years of service

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Sept. 29 confirmed the nomination of Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman for promotion to general and assignment as the chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force. 

The Senate by unanimous consent  confirmed Saltzman and other military nominees on Thursday before adjourning for recess until Oct. 11.

President Biden nominated Saltzman on July 27 and the Senate Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing Sept. 13. The committee sent the nomination to the Senate Sept. 22. 

Saltzman succeeds Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, who is retiring after 38 years of service. Raymond was the first chief of the military space branch established in December 2019. The chief of space operations is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Space Force is an independent military service under the Department of the Air Force. It has nearly 8,000 uniformed members known as guardians, and about an equal number of civilian employees charged with operating and protecting the U.S. military’s satellites and supporting systems.

In testimony to the SASC, Saltzman said the Space Force “will continue to mature as an independent service. We must continue to develop the Space Force into a world class organization capable of integrating effectively into the Department of Defense … We must innovate new ways to accomplish our complex missions. We will not succeed if we assume our old habits will be effective in the emerging security environment.”

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