Space Force Re-Aligns 'Commit' Phase for All Its Operators

The Space Force has announced a significant reform in its operational structure, focusing on the synchronization of the “commit” phase of the Space Force Generation Model (SPAFORGEN) as of July 1, 2023. SPAFORGEN, originally introduced two years ago, involves a cyclical approach to managing units and personnel, dividing them into three phases: prepare, ready, and commit. Each phase signifies a period of focus, enabling units to train, regain readiness through high-end exercises, and stand ready for full-time operational duty.

However, the implementation of SPAFORGEN across different units has not been uniform, with each unit cycling at its own pace. To address this issue, the Space Operations Command (SpOC) will now adopt a more consistent approach to rotating units in and out of phases concurrently, regardless of mission area. This shift aims to ensure that combat-ready units and leaders are consistently ready for deployment across formations.

Lieutenant General David N. Miller Jr., the SpOC boss, commented on the change, stating that aligning the phases would help maintain a combat-credible force. General B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, further noted that this change is part of the Space Force’s strategy to optimize for great power competition.

This modification in the Space Force’s force presentation is closely linked with the Space Force’s earlier decision that “combat squadrons” will be the units presented to combatant commanders. Similarly, Space Force “combat detachments” will follow the SPAFORGEN model as well.

Brigadier General Devin Pepper, the vice commander of Space Operations Command, has explained an “eight-crew model” in which five crews from a unit are in the “commit” phase at any given time, while the other three are in either the prepare or ready phases. The phases of SPAFORGEN, unlike the Air Force Force Generation Model, involve uneven cycles:

– The commit phase lasts 105 days
– The prepare phase runs for 21 days
– The ready phase lasts 42 days

Most Space Force operations are carried out at home stations, which allows for tighter cycles. Leaders maintain that the phases of SPAFORGEN are more about creating high-end readiness and a predictable rhythm for the Space Force personnel, known as Guardians.

General Saltzman highlighted that the previous approach of being constantly ready did not effectively heighten readiness for intense competition against nations like China and Russia. Instead, a balanced approach is needed, combining operations with readiness. The prepare phase will encompass training, positional upgrades, professional military education, and planned leave. The ready phase will involve advanced training, exercises, and validations for squadrons to refine their advanced skills. The commit phase will focus on everyday space operations.

Saltzman considers this shift in focus as the most significant change accompanying the establishment of the Space Force thus far. However, he acknowledges that it will take time to work out any issues, normalize the process, and allocate resources.

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