The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved Gen. John Raymond to lead the newly formed U.S. Space Command.
Raymond already serves as the commander of Air Force Space Command, and now simultaneously lead the U.S. Space Command, The Hill reported.
The Space Command is part of the Trump administration's efforts to increase the military's focus on space — including a push to establish Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.
According to The Hill, both the Senate's version of the annual defense policy bill that passed Thursday and the House's version that will be taken up in July include the creation of a new military branch for space, though there are differences that will need to be reconciled.
Under the Senate's version, the commander of Space Command would also serve as the commander of Space Force for one year, after which the two positions would be separated, The Hill reported.
In written answers to the committee, Raymond wrote there would be "substantial" challenges in setting up the new combatant command.
"The challenges in standing up a new Combatant Command are substantial," Raymond wrote, The Hill reported.
"If confirmed, my first priority will be to ensure the seamless transition of the command and control of critical space capabilities that the nation and the joint force depend on each-and-every day.
"Simultaneously, we need to ensure we take steps to strengthen readiness and lethality as we complete our shift from a permissive environment to a posture for war-fighting."
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