— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) September 20, 2020
Thanks to BBC News for this:
Earlier this month, 20 U.S. troops were sworn in as Space Force recruits at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, becoming the newest US military branch’s first foreign deployed troops.
“This group is making history,” US Air Force Col Todd Benson, director of Space Forces for US Air Forces Central Command, told the squadron of airmen as they formally switched military branches in a ceremony on September 1st, 2020.
“They are the first members of the United States Space Force to be deployed in support of combat operations,” he added, according to a Space Force press release.
US troops are of course not new to the Middle East, but it was actually where the first “space war” was ever fought, historians say. It was in the 1991 Desert Storm operation that US troops first used satellite based GPS while pushing Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.
The new military service, overseen by the US Air Force, has said they do not not intend to immediately put troops into orbit.
Rather, its mission is to protect US assets such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said the Space Force would comprise about 16,000 air force and civilian personnel.
The Trump administration allocated $40 million dollars to fund the force in its first year.
President Trump created Space Force, the first US military branch since the Air Force was added in 1947.
US Space Force article