Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond is the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force (USSF), the 6th independent military service branch. Gen. Raymond talked to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about the biggest threats to the nation in space since the USSF was established in 2019.

Highlights

Gen. John Raymond, the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force, says space is a war-fighting domain, explaining that “China and Russia have developed weapons that can disrupt our satellites or destroy our satellites.” He adds that Space Force’s goal is to not get into conflicts that begin or extend into space. “Our goal is to deter that from happening.” (Washington Post Live)
Gen. John Raymond, the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force, says he believes Space Force could build a more fused relationship with the commercial space industry. “The commercial industry is doing in months what it has taken the government to do in years. We’ve got to go faster.” (Washington Post Live)
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 is scheduled to return to Earth May 1 after a six-month mission in space. Gen. John Raymond, the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force, says Space Force has a very close partnership with NASA and will be tracking their return. (Washington Post Live)
Gen. John Raymond, the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force, says Space Force tracks about 30,000 objects in space, and the debris makes up the vast majority of those objects. Raymond says one solution is to stop “creating debris in the first place.” “There are probably about a half a million other objects that are too small for us to track, so clearly the domain is a congested domain…Our view of this is the way you solve this debris problem is to help stop from creating debris in the first place.” (Washington Post Live)

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond

Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond is the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Space Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of all organic and assigned space forces serving in the United States and overseas.

Gen. Raymond was commissioned through the ROTC program at Clemson University in 1984. He has commanded at squadron, group, wing, numbered air force, major command and combatant command levels. Notable staff assignments include serving in the Office of Force Transformation, Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Director of Plans, Programs and Analyses at Air Force Space Command; the Director of Plans and Policy (J5), U.S. Strategic Command; and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

Gen. Raymond deployed to Southwest Asia as Director of Space Forces in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Prior to leading establishment of the U.S. Space Force and serving as the first Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Raymond led the re-establishment of U.S. Space Command as the eleventh U.S. combatant command.