Space Force officially creates cryptologic service component for NSA

The Space Force has established a cryptologic component responsible to the National Security Agency and the Central Security Service.
Space Force Uniform
The chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force displays the service’s uniform nametapes in the Pentagon Jan. 17 in Arlington, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnett)

The Space Force has officially established its own cryptologic component, FedScoop has learned.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall made the notification July 2, according to a Space Force spokesperson. The director for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, S2, will serve as the service cryptologic chief with the S2 staff serving as the cryptologic staff.

Each military service now has a cryptologic component which is responsible to the National Security Agency and Central Security Service. The NSA, in its combat support role, provides signals intelligence. The lesser-known Central Security Service “provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge and assistance to the military cryptologic community,” according to the organization’s website.

Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, the current S2, is the first Space Force service cryptologic chief. She was recently nominated, however, to serve as Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and cyber effects operations.


Until recently, the Air Force’s cryptologic component, 16th Air Force, has also performed that role for the fledgling Space Force, which falls under the Department of the Air Force.

Kendall’s recent notification closes a year-long partnership process between the Air Force and Space Force to establish initial operating capacity for the Space Force Cryptologic Component, the spokesperson said. Space Force will now begin execution of a multiyear program of actions and milestones to achieve full operational capacity. 

“We did oversight of all their [signals intelligence] activities, some of their cybersecurity-related things and in relation to specific security of their national security systems,” Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh told reporters in late July a few days prior to exiting command of 16th Air Force, regarding the work the organization did for Space Force. “I’m really proud of the work that our Air Force cryptologic office has done to help grow a space cryptologic office.”

In January 2021, the Space Force was added as the 18th element to the intelligence community with its S2, the first such addition since 2006.

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