Air Force reservists can soon apply to join the Space Force

by Vern Evans

The Space Force on Saturday will begin accepting applications from Air Force reservists to join the newest service as full-time guardians, the service said in a release.

Bringing reservists who already work in space-related jobs into the fold will mark the Space Force’s next step toward what it hopes will be a more flexible system for managing troops across full-time and part-time roles.

“This is an important first step toward fully integrating critical space expertise from the Reserve into our force,” Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman said in the release. “We’ve been serving side-by-side together, supporting the same mission, for longer than the Space Force has existed.”

Those invited to apply span officers and enlisted airmen across multiple fields, up to the rank of colonel for officers and chief master sergeant for enlisted.

Reserve officers who may join the Space Force include those in space operations (13S); cyberspace operations (17X); intelligence (14N); developmental engineering (62E); acquisition management (63A); and scientists (61X).

Scientists and others whose roles don’t exist in the Space Force will need to become a developmental engineer or acquisition manager, the service said.

Enlisted reservists who may apply to join include space systems operators (1C6); intelligence specialists (1N0); imagery analysts (1N1), signals intelligence analysts (1N2); cryptologic language analysts (1N3); network intelligence analysts (1N4); targeting analysts (1N8); cyber defense operators (1D7X1); spectrum operations technicians (1D7X2); and cable and antennae defense operators (1D7X3).

The application window runs through Nov. 30. The Space Force will consider applicants at three selection boards held in September and November 2024 and January 2025. Transfers will begin in fiscal year 2025.

People chosen to join the Space Force must agree to at least two years of active-duty service, or up to six years for enlisted troops, among other eligibility requirements.

Joining the Space Force may also require the former reservists to move to a new base, the service said. That could prove difficult for current part-timers who need to stay put because of family, educational or career obligations.

“If a transfer applicant is assigned at or near a Space Force location and an authorized vacancy exists, it may be possible for the member to remain local for their first assignment if that is their stated preference,” the Space Force said. “Members that are not assigned at or near a Space Force location, or members assigned at or near a Space Force location, but no authorized vacancy exists, will likely be reassigned, which may require [a permanent change of station].”

The Space Force — which remains the smallest branch of the armed forces by far — has grown to around 9,000 troops, all of whom serve on active duty.

The Air Force Reserve did not immediately answer Tuesday how many of its airmen still serve in space missions. That includes the Reserve’s only space wing: the 310th Space Wing, which handles space surveillance, missile warning and a host of other missions from Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.

“The Space Force is about to integrate some of the most talented space operators,” Air Force Reserve boss Lt. Gen. John Healy said in the release. “I have no doubt they will be key to advancing security in the space domain.”

Reserve airmen who work in space operations must transfer to the Space Force as a full- or part-time guardian or jump to a different career field within the Air Force, the release said. The Air Force plans to discontinue its space operations field because the Space Force now oversees those units.

Part-time spots in the Space Force are slated to open in 2026 once the service has established the infrastructure and policies needed to bring troops into those jobs.

The Space Force hopes to create a new personnel system under which troops can switch between full-time and part-time jobs, potentially offering more options to people who, for instance, want to cut their hours to care for family or pursue a civilian job opportunity. The service hopes consolidating those troops into a single component will streamline the assignment process and prove less bureaucratic than the traditional active-duty Guard and Reserve components.

If the Department of the Air Force’s plan to move space-focused Air National Guard units under that same umbrella takes effect, the Space Force said, Guardsmen can expect a similar transfer process as their reserve counterparts.

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

Read the full article here

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy