March 5, 2021

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Top officer would ‘welcome’ chance to talk Space Force after White House flap – POLITICO

2 min read

Psaki followed up Tuesday night on Twitter, saying that the administration invites members of the Space Force “to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work.”

Raymond, when asked during a Defense Writers Group virtual event on Wednesday about the comment, said he’s happy to take her up on the offer.

“I am very proud of the guardians in the Space Force. I see the value of this force each and every day,” he said. “I’m willing to talk to anyone about their great work and I’d welcome the opportunity.”

Psaki reiterated the invitation at the White House briefing on Wednesday before saying that the Space Force has the “full support” of the new administration and that any change to the service would need to come from Congress.

“We are not revisiting the decision to establish the Space Force,” she said. “The desire for the Department of Defense to focus greater attention and resources on the growing security challenges in space has long been a bipartisan issue informed by numerous independent commissions and studies conducted across multiple administrations, and thousands of men and women proudly serve in the Space Force.”

Raymond also acknowledged that the American public does not yet understand the mission of the Space Force, which has been both politicized by elected leaders and mocked by the broader public since it was established in December 2019 under the Trump administration.

“My own mother called me a couple months ago after watching a television segment about GPS [and said] … ‘Did you know the Air Force and Space Force does things with GPS!’ I’m like, ‘Mom, that’s what I do!’ It’s hard to understand,” he said.

Raymond blamed both the isolated nature of space and the fact that most space threats are classified for why the public is not yet on board with the new service, but said the Space Force’s internal communications have been “excellent.”

He also drew a distinction with other military services in explaining his PR challenge.

“Space doesn’t have a mother. You can’t reach out and hug a satellite,” he said. “You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. It’s hard to have that connection.”

Matthew Choi contributed to this report.

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