At Peterson AFB ceremony, general touts Space Command as new 'Sputnik moment'

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (KKTV) - A ceremony was held at Peterson Air Force Base to mark the re-establishment of the Pentagon's U.S. Space Command.

Photo courtesy: MGN/NASA

Monday's event was attended by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, the chairman of the joint chief of staffs, and Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, commander of the U.S. Space Command.

President Donald Trump re-launched Space Command in December with the goal of improving the organization space operations across the U.S. military and to speed up technical developments.

The Pentagon had a U.S. Space Command from 1985 to 2002, but it was disbanded in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to focus on homeland defense.

In remarks Monday, Dunford compared Trump's move restarting the combatant command Command to President John Kennedy's call to action after the Soviet Union started the space race with Sputnik, the first space satellite, and 1961's first manned launch into space.

Dunford said Monday that call to action resulted in a U.S. advantage in space that lasted for decades but is now threatened by China, and to a lesser extent, Iran and North Korea.

The initial headquarters is Peterson Air Force Base, which is also home to other units with space operations, including missile warnings.