In December 2019, the United States Space Force became the newest branch of the U.S. Military and the world’s first and only independent space service branch. However, more than a year later, many questions remain about this new organization. What are the current and future missions of the Space Force? How does it fit into the U.S.’ overarching military and security structures? How will it work with existing civilian and private space organizations, such as NASA and SpaceX? Will it coordinate with the space operations of foreign nations in the way that other branches do within their own service domains? To discuss these questions and yours, FPRI’s John Nagl welcomes the current Vice-Chair of Space Operations, General David. D. Thompson for a special edition of our Main Line Briefings.
FPRI’s Main Line Briefings are a series of discussions on global affairs and national security hosted by Dr. John Nagl, the ninthHead of the Haverford School. Dr. Nagl is a Senior Fellow with FPRI’s National Security Program and a member of FPRI’s Board of Advisors. A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, Nagl was part of the writing team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. In this series, Dr. Nagl will draw on FPRI’s vast network of scholars and outside experts to highlight their voices and insight on world affairs, global engagement, and foreign policy. This series is co-Chaired by James Gately, John Piasecki, and Eileen Rosenau.
Gen. David D. Thompson is the Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Vice Chief, he is responsible for assisting the Chief of Space Operations in organizing, training, and equipping space forces in the United States and overseas, integrating space policy and guidance, and coordinating space-related activities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of the Air Force. Gen. Thompson was commissioned in 1985 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a career space officer with assignments in operations, acquisition, research and development, and academia. Gen. Thompson has commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels; he is also an Olmsted Scholar, a graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course, and Level III-Certified Program Manager. Prior to his assignment as Vice Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Thompson was the Vice Commander, U.S. Space Force.
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