Space Force chooses 2,410 airmen to join ranks

Space Force chooses 2,410 airmen to join ranks
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The U.S. Space Force has chosen an initial batch of more than 2,400 airmen to transfer into the military’s newest branch.

The Space Force, in a news release Thursday, said it has chosen 2,410 members to join its ranks starting Sept. 1. 

"This is an exciting and historic time for these space operators who will be some of the first members to join the Space Force," Lt. Gen. David "DT" Thompson, the service’s vice commander, said in a statement "Each one of them has an important responsibility to contribute bold ideas to shape the Space Force into a 21st century service."

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The first batch of transfers from the Air Force was chosen from the more than 8,500 airmen the Space Force said applied to join the service in May.

Those chosen to transfer first come from space operations career fields. Volunteers with more general career fields will be chosen later by transfer boards expected to start in February, the news release said.

About 6,000 of the initial 8,500 applicants will eventually be chosen to transfer into the Space Force, the service has previously said.

The Space Force was officially created as the sixth branch of the military in December with President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE’s signing of the annual defense policy bill. Its establishment fulfilled a top priority for Trump since he first coined the name Space Force in 2018 and turned it into a reliable applause line at his campaign rallies.

The new service is aimed at protecting U.S. assets in space, such as satellites, from threats from Russia and China.

Though about 16,000 military and civilian personnel from the former Air Force Space Command have been assigned to work for the Space Force, those service members are still formally part of the Air Force. 

Officially, the Space Force only has 88 sworn-in members: Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, senior enlisted adviser Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman and 86 Air Force Academy graduates who commissioned directly into the Space Force upon graduation in April.