WASHINGTON — The intelligence arm of the Space Force is an official part of the U.S. intelligence community.

“Today, we took action to elevate space intelligence missions, tradecraft and collaboration to ensure the success of the Space Force, the Intelligence Community, and ultimately our national security,” said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, following a Jan. 8 ceremony. “This is a significant milestone, a clear statement that America is committed to a secure and accessible space domain. Our partnership will ensure the Space Force and the nation remain always above any threat.”

Located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Space Delta 7 is the operational intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) element of the Space Force. It is the first new organization to join the intelligence community since 2006, when the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of National Security Intelligence joined. There are now nine DoD component members of the IC, including elements from each of the services.

“Today’s change aligns our newest service with the other members of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and will help ensure our efforts are coordinated and synchronized across all domains of warfare,” said Ezra Cohen, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.

“Through sharing space-related information and intelligence, the IC and DoD increase integration and coordination of our intelligence activities to achieve best effect and value in executing our missions,” said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. “This move not only underscores the importance of space as a priority intelligence and military operational domain for national security, but ensures interoperability, future capability development and operations, and true global awareness for strategic warning.”

Ratcliffe had hinted that the addition of the Space Force to the IC was likely during remarks to the National Space Council in December, noting that his team was working toward that end. He also declared space a “priority intelligence domain” under the new National Space Policy. Earlier in 2020, DNI had instructed intelligence agencies to begin dedicating funding to countering threats to space. While the dollar value of that shift is classified, Ratcliffe said it was a significant investment.

DNI is also working with the Space Force on establishing a new National Space Intelligence Center to support space-related intelligence needs.

“The establishment of this new center will provide the nation unparalleled scientific and technical intelligence on space-related threats, and it will serve as the service intelligence center for the Space Force,” said Ratcliffe.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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