The United States Space Corps (USSC) is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for the development, acquisition and operation of the U.S.'s military and intelligence space systems. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Space Corps is a component of the Department of the Air Force; however, it has a separate headquarters, chain of command, funding line and organization; similar to the U.S. Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy.
The most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, the Space Corps was created by merging the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) into a single national security space organization. At its inception, the U.S. Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and Central Intelligence Agency all transferred their space capabilities, space operations and acquisition personnel, and the funding lines associated with their space programs into the new service branch. The key factor was a consolidation all U.S. military and U.S. intelligence space capabilities.
Headquarted in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Space Corps is commanded by a four-star flag officer and has five Space Divisions, each commanded by two-star flag officers and responsible for a specific space mission area. These divisions are the equivalent of Numbered Air Forces, except they have both operations and acquisition responsibility for their mission areas. Each Division has several Space Wings responsible for specific space missions within the mission area. The Space Corps has a three-star flag officer as the vice commander and a three-star flag officer as the program executive officer, who oversees all space acquisition programs and also reports to the Undersecretary of the Air Force for acquisition decisions.
Using the NRO's mission-based organizational structure, the five Space Divisions of the United States Space Corps include the Strike Division, Reconnaissance Division, Missile Defense Division, Space Control Division and Space Support Division.
The Strike Division has three intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations Wings, an ICBM System Program Office (SPO) to sustain and upgrade the missiles and an Advanced Concepts SPO to develop future Space Corps strike systems.
The Reconnaissance Division has Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) Wings, each performing operations and acquisition for their missions. It also has the Space Radar SPO and an Advanced Technology SPO to develop future capabilities.
The Missile Defense Division performs missile warning with its Space-based Infrared (SBIRS) Wing and Ground-based Radar Wing, each with operations and acquisition responsibility for their systems. It also has an advanced concepts SPO to develop a future space-based laser system.
The Space Control Division has a Ground-based Space Surveillance Wing that acquires and operates optical and radar surveillance systems, a Space-based Space Surveillance (SBSS) Wing with acquisition and operations responsibilities and a Counter-Space Wing that acquires and operates offensive and defensive counter-space capabilities.
Finally, the Space Support Division has a Satellite & Launch Control Wing, Navigation Wing, Launch Vehicle Wing and a Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Wing, each with acquisition and operations responsibilities for their missions. The MILSATCOM Wing is a merger of the old NRO and AFSPC communications missions.