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Gen. Chance Saltzman Takes Over as Chief of Space Operations

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U.S. Space Force Gen. B. Chance Saltzman officially succeeded the retiring Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, a three-time Wash100 awardee, as chief of space operations during the transition ceremony held Wednesday at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

In his remarks, Saltzman pledged to “work relentlessly” to ensure a combat-ready and resilient Space Force amid rising challenges in maintaining U.S. national security interests in space, the service branch said Wednesday.

“Without the space capabilities you are designing, building, protecting, and operating, the Joint Force will not be capable of accomplishing its missions,” he said in his speech.

“A resilient, ready, and combat-credible Space Force is indispensable to deterrence today, tomorrow, and every day after that. In the worst case, if deterrence fails, the Space Force will be an indispensable component of our joint force at war,” Saltzman added.

Saltzman, most recently deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber and nuclear, assumes the CSO role as the Space Force transitions into a phase that focuses on meeting the operational imperatives of the Department of the Air Force.

During his Senate nomination hearing in September, Saltzman said he would prioritize the development and deployment of space capabilities and ensure the training of guardians to enable them to counter the threats posed by strategic competitors.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Raymond and Saltzman during the ceremony.

Austin, Kendall and Milley are all previous Wash100 Award winners. 

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