Space Force’s new Delta organizations will help the service keep up with the increasing launch cadence


“In this reorganization, putting together the launch operations, the range operations, the program office with the responsibility of acquiring the launch vehicle or maintaining and upgrading the ranges … is a way to unify that activity to make it more efficient, and ultimately more effective,” Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson said at the C4ISRNET conference in May. “While it doesn’t directly change our approach to the acquisition of launch vehicles and launch services today, it creates a more integrated ecosystem to allow us to evolve our approach to launch in the future as our needs change.” All of those changes are expected to take place this summer, after Congress approves a general to lead the new field command.

More immediately, the Space Force is redesignating its main launch organizations — the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB, California, and the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida — as space launch deltas. The most significant change is the elimination of group-level organizations, in keeping with the Space Force’s goal of being a flat and lean structure. Sign up for our Military Space Report Get the latest news about space and strategic systems

“We’re already seeing that there are a lot of opportunities to integrate, to talk, to work through problems, and that is the absolute focus right now,” he said. Subscribe

Eno spoke to a small group of reporters shortly after the launch of a Space Force missile warning satellite from Cape Canaveral May 18 — the first national security space launch from the base in 2021 and just the second launch since the official transition of the 45th Space Wing into the 45th Space Launch Delta. According to Eno, day of launch operations remain fairly similar under the new structure. However, a month of dry testing showed operators that delta setup significantly flattened communications, eliminating arbitrary divisions of labor. “We’ve flattened the organization,” said Lt. Col. Brian Eno, who leads the 1st Range Operations Squadron at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. “We used to have another echelon of command at the group command level with two colonels that were in charge of mission support and operations respectively. Those colonels have now become deputies, and now squadron commanders report directly to [Brig. Gen. Stephen] Purdy as the commander of the organization.”

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Contributing to that was the decision to include all personnel in one delta, rather than splitting operations and support into separate organizations. × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief.

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