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Trump nominates Colorado general to lead US Space Command

gen john raymond.JPG
Posted at 4:21 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 18:21:27-04

(CNN) -- President Donald Trump has nominated Gen. John Raymond to lead the recently created US Space Command, defense officials confirmed Tuesday.

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

The command oversees some 30,000 space personnel worldwide.

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

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told Congress Tuesday that the establishment of Space Command should be given priority within the proposed Space Force, calling the command "the easiest and most impactful" of the various aspects of the Force.

The proposed Space Force will fall under the Air Force and have a relationship akin to the US Marine Corps' relationship to the Department of the Navy.

Trump directed the establishment of Space Command in December, making it only the 11th unified combatant command.

Instead of establishing a separate service, the new Command requires less congressional involvement and is seen as less controversial.

"The Air Force is where the skill is for space," Shanahan said Tuesday.

The Space Force's creation is part of the Trump Administration's 2020 defense budget request to Congress.

Following the creation of Space Command, Shanahan said the launch of the Space Development Agency should be the next priority.