The Latest: General says US is at a new ‘Sputnik moment’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on the Peterson Air Force Base ceremony to mark the establishment of the U.S. Space Command (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the U.S. has reached a new “Sputnik moment” in which the nation’s competitive advantage in space has eroded.

Gen. Joseph Dunford compared President Donald Trump’s re-start of the U.S. Space Command to President John Kennedy’s call to action after the Soviet Union started the space race with Sputnik, the first space satellite, and 1961’s first manned launch into space.

Dunford said Monday that call to action resulted in a U.S. advantage in space that lasted for decades but is now threatened by China, and to a lesser extent, Iran and North Korea.

Dunford made is remarks during a ceremony at Colorado Springs’ Peterson Air Force Base.

Trump re-launched Space Command after it was closed in 2002 to focus resources on homeland defense.


9:35 a.m.

A ceremony is being held at Peterson Air Force Base to mark the re-establishment of the Pentagon’s U.S. Space Command.

Monday’s event will be attended by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, the chairman of the joint chief of staffs, and Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, commander of the U.S. Space Command.

President Donald Trump re-launched Space Command in December with the goal of improving the organization space operations across the U.S. military and to speed up technical developments.

The Pentagon had a U.S. Space Command from 1985 to 2002, but it was disbanded in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to focus on homeland defense.

The initial headquarters is Peterson Air Force Base, which is also home to other units with space operations, including missile warnings.