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News | Dec. 18, 2020

JTF-SD leads Space Command in Space Force selects

By Jennifer Thibault Joint Task Force-Space Defense Public Affairs

As the Space Force prepares to celebrate its first birthday, several Joint Task Force-Space Defense members are celebrating their recent selection to transfer into the nation’s newest service.

The JTF-SD notified its four enlisted selects this week and its four officers in October, totaling eight—the most within the combatant command. The unit’s selects include intelligence, development engineer, operations intelligence, geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence and client systems specialties.

Additional eligible common career fields are cyberspace operations, acquisition manager, fusion analyst, targeting analyst and cyberspace support.

Organic space career field selects began transferring in September, however career fields common to both the Air Force and the Space Force have been delayed while officials determined the required mix to support both of their missions.

One of the JTF-SD selects is Lt. Col. Derek Reimer, Capabilities and Resource Integration director. As a space system engineer, he’s supported both space and ground control systems at multiple bases executing space missions such as GPS, military satellite communications and ten SpaceX launches.

“It made sense with my background,” said Reimer. “I love the mission and what an exciting opportunity to be on the ground floor of a new service!”

For other selects, JTF-SD is their first space assignment.

“It’s been nice to get to interact with career fields outside of intel,” said Master Sgt. Brianna Fields, communications signal analyst. “I am most looking forward to getting the opportunity to shape how intel is done in the space domain.”

For another select, space has been tugging at him for some time.

“Space has always been intriguing to me, even before joining the military,” said Staff Sgt. Roy McDavid, intelligence analyst. “It peaked my interests even more when the Space Force was stood up. When it was made possible for intelligence professionals to transfer to the Space Force, it was an easy decision to make.”

McDavid has supported space missions in his career and thinks the Space Force will better complement his interests.

“The Space Force will allow me to grow into an intelligence/space [subject matter expert] by giving me more time to focus on mission objectives,” said McDavid. “Even though it isn’t really my specialty, I also have an interest in the cyber domain, particularly program development. I think the Space Force will provide me the best avenues to further develop both of these functions.”

McDavid’s interests are encouraged in the Space Force’s drive to be a “digital workforce.”

“Our personnel must be comfortable with technology and have ability to apply and adapt it for our national security objectives,” said the service’s first Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John Raymond, in his initial planning guidance released last month. “They should be capable of thinking and acting in the ‘data space,’ prioritizing data-centric solutions over product-centric processes. In addition, we will develop organic modeling acumen among USSF members to guide our digital efforts.”

While becoming digital, the Space Force has the unique opportunity to be selective in establishing its small force, just 6,400 strong by the end of 2021. It’s this people focus that has Fields excited to transfer.

“I love getting to help take care of and lead people and I think the Space Force will have more opportunities to do that with a higher impact,” she said.

For all, this is a historic time to join the new service.

“I find getting in on the foundational, pioneer level to be exciting!” said McDavid. “It will be rewarding to be a participant as the Space Force experiences many firsts and then on to achieve many milestones.”

“I’m so excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Fields. “I absolutely love the Air Force but it is such a neat opportunity to get the chance to help shape a whole new service.”

The next milestone for selects will be their official transfer ceremonies which are slated to occur February 2021.