If confirmed, the missileer and satellite operator would become the newest service’s second leader.
President Joe Biden has named Lt. Gen. Chance “Salty” Saltzman to serve as the next Chief of Space Operations as the Space Force moves past its creation and into the day-to-day responsibilities of protecting America’s space interests.
Early in his military space career, Saltzman served as a Minuteman III launch officer. He later served as a satellite operator for the National Reconnaissance Office and led space operations squadrons, groups and wings at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Saltzman currently serves as the Space Force’s deputy chief of space operations for cyber and nuclear. He will replace the first chief of space operations, Gen. John Raymond, who is retiring. The two have worked to build out the force since President Donald Trump created the new branch in December 2019.
As deputy, Saltzman pushed for the creation of a space-specific intelligence arm focused on emerging capabilities and threats in space from Russia, such as its anti-satellite test last year, and China, which is developing satellites that could be used to attack or disable U.S. satellites.