Gen. John Raymond was sworn in Tuesday as the first ever Chief of Space Operations for the new U.S. Space Force.

President Donald Trump officially launched the Space Force last month when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. It will fall under the Department of the Air Force but is a distinct military service.

The role of the new Space Command is to conduct operations such as enabling satellite-based navigation and communications for troops and commanders in the field and providing warning of missile launches abroad.

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"Not only is this historical, but it's critical and this establishment is absolutely critical to our national security and that of our allies and it's not lost on me or it's not lost on the airmen that I am privileged to serve with," Raymond said.

The renewed focus on space as a military domain reflects concern about the vulnerability of US satellites, both military and commercial, that are critical to US interests and are potentially susceptible to disruption by Chinese and Russian anti-satellite weapons.

Pence Space Force
Vice President Mike Pence, right, smiles as Air Force General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, apologizes to his wife for yet another move, in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office at the Executive Office Building, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)