By Kyle Mizokami | Popular Mechanics
- The 14th Air Force is one unit transferring from the Air Force to Space Force.
- The California-based unit is being renamed the Space Operations Command.
- The Space Operations Command’s acronym is SPOC. We’re into it.
The U.S. Space Force is days old and already has its own reference to the science fiction pop culture. A former U.S. Air Force unit transitioning to the Space Force was redesignated the Space Operations Center—or SPOC. The acronym is almost certainly named after the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer of the USS Enterprise of Star Trek fame.
The U.S. Air Force’s 14th Air Force, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, was the only air force (similar to a U.S. Army corps) responsible for space operations. According to the Air Force, 14th Air Force was responsible for, “for the organization, training, equipping, command and control (C2), and employment of Air Force space forces to support operational plans and missions for U.S.”
Now, as of December 20, 2019, the 14th Air Force is no more.Conventional wisdom is that the unit’s acronym would be SOC. That however would miss the perfect opportunity to bend the rules a bit. So SPOC it is.
According to the Air Force, the SPOC:
The SPOC provides space capabilities such as space domain awareness, space electronic warfare, satellite communications, missile warning, nuclear detonation detection, environmental monitoring, military intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, navigation warfare, command and control, and positioning, navigation and timing, on behalf of the USSF for USSPACECOM and other combatant commands.
The former 14th Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, will now command the SPOC. The SPOC will continue to operate from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The transition from the Air Force to the Space Force isn’t that difficult: technically, the Space Force is under the control of the Air Force, just like the Marine Corps is under the control of the Navy. Most Space Force personnel and subunits will come from the Air Force.
While it might take quite a bit of acronym-bending to name a unit SKYWALKER or BABYLON, it’s reasonable to assume that someone will try.