Space Force Top Leader Visits NASIC

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Longoria
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force, visited the National Air and Space Intelligence Center Sept. 24, 2020.

Raymond is the senior military member of the USSF and serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force on Space Force activities. Though not his first visit to NASIC, the day-long immersion was Raymond’s first since the creation of the Space Force on December 20, 2019.

“It’s always good to come to NASIC” said Raymond. “I always get a lot out of it, and I really, really appreciate all that you do.”

As the nation’s space intelligence center, NASIC directly supports the Space Force by providing scientific and technical intelligence to discover and characterize space threats. It’s a mission that dates back more than 60 years, since the organization’s early assessments of a Soviet space launch in the mid-1950s.

“You have a wealth of knowledge,” said Raymond. “I got a good flavor for the amount of expertise that you have that’s been here for a really long time.”

To kick off the day-long visit, Raymond received a series of intelligence briefings focused on NASIC support to space and the integration of this mission across the Center’s portfolio.

“Having the first Chief of Space Operations visit our workforce is an incredible opportunity,” said Col. Maurizio Calabrese, NASIC Commander. “It was remarkable to hear first-hand how the synergy we have here at NASIC, the DoD and the Intelligence Community, allows us to play a direct role in the Space Force’s mission.”

Later, Raymond addressed the NASIC workforce – both in person and virtually – during a Town Hall focused on the Space Force priorities and the type of mindset he believes is necessary to maintain space superiority.

“Space is a warfighting domain just like air, land and sea. The strategic environment of space has changed, and we cannot continue to do business the way we’ve done business in the past,” he said. “We must be bold, agile and fast.”

During his visit, Raymond also toured the NASIC facility, coined some of the Center’s outstanding performers, and met with some of the analysts, engineers and operators who directly support the Space Force, including the 9 members who transferred into the service earlier this month.

“For me, joining the Space Force was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. William Darmon, Counterspace Analysis Squadron analyst. “It’s also a unique opportunity because my grandfather joined the Air Force when it was a brand new branch, and now I get to follow in his footsteps by joining a new service.”

“The Air Force has changed so much since my grandfather was an Airman 70 years ago,” Darmon continued. “I wonder what the Space Force’s future is going to look like in 70 years, and I get to be a part of that.”