With the U.S. Space Force seeing positive results from its unit-integration experiment, the service is now weeks away from announcing plans to expand the model beyond the pilot phase, according to the head of Space Operations Command.

“We’re having conversations about that with the service chief. He will decide what are the next candidates to do that,” Lt. Gen. David Miller told reporters in a Feb. 27 briefing.

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman announced in September the service would pilot an integrated mission delta construct as a way to better align responsibility, authority and resources within mission areas. The concept is a departure from the service’s current unit structure, which separates operations, sustainment and acquisition into separate commands.

The Space Force chose positioning, navigation and timing, or PNT, as well as electronic warfare as the first two mission areas to test out the idea.

Miller said the service has been analyzing lessons from the first few months of the effort and made recommendations to Saltzman for which mission areas should be included in the next phase. He would not discuss his proposal with reporters and didn’t disclose the timing of an announcement, but said to expect more details “in the coming weeks.”

“You can imagine that my recommendations are pretty aggressive,” Miller said. “But we’re going to go with whatever the service chief and the [Air Force secretary] decide.”

Since implementing the construct, the PNT and electronic warfare integrated mission deltas have seen significant efficiency improvements, according to Miller — blowing past testing milestones and fielding capabilities in “record time.” For PNT, he said, the team demonstrated the ability to quickly address service outages now that its commander has authority for all of the system’s sustainment and maintenance, which would have previously resided in a separate command.

While the model has worked well for those two mission areas and Miller expects the same in other areas, he noted that the integrated approach may not be the right fit for all capability sets. Some, for example, may not be designed to present combat forces and so would function better under a single delta with a more focused responsibility scope.

“I don’t think that in every case and every situation that you’ll see an IMD, or Integrated Mission Delta, be a requirement,” he said. “Some of those deltas don’t need that.”

Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.

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