LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) — During a formal ceremony Feb. 1 at Space Systems Command headquarters on Los Angeles Air Force Base, U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Philip Garrant assumed command from U.S. Space Force Gen. Michael Guetlein.
Officiating the ceremony was the Chief of Space Operations U.S. Space Force Gen. Chance Saltzman, who praised Guetlein’s leadership while serving as the first commander of SSC.
“For the last few years, this command has continued to fast-track space innovation under the leadership of its first and only commander, Gen. Mike Guetlein,” said Saltzman. “This team’s many historic achievements since its stand-up are a testament to the talent and the determinization of our Guardians…and equally as important, are a testament to the leadership of your commander.”
Saltzman spoke highly of the efforts SSC Guardians played in delivering capabilities to warfighters that keep our Nation’s competitive advantage in space and shared his continued confidence of what the command will deliver under Garrant’s leadership.
“…Phil has served with great distinction throughout his career,” said Saltzman. “With an outstanding track record of accomplishments, a steadfast focus on the future, and a relentless dedication to our mission, Phil embodies the qualities and values needed to lead Space Systems Command to the next stage of its evolution.”
With this change of command, Garrant became the second commander of SSC and is responsible for leading a global workforce of more than 15,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel, as well as overseeing an annual $15.6 billion space acquisition budget, which ensures premier space capabilities are delivered timely to counter the threats in today’s and tomorrow’s contested space domain.
Garrant thanked the CSO for the trust and confidence placed in him to lead SSC and mentioned he wants to hear ideas, concerns and share his vision as he travels throughout the command.
“For now, as a command we will be focused on Gen. Saltzman’s theory of success, Secretary [Frank] Kendall’s call to re-optimize for the great power competition, and continuing the organizational design our leadership envisions,” said Garrant. “To that end, we will continue shaping what SSC is intended to become with mission capability-based IMDs [Integrated Mission Deltas] and SYDs [System Deltas], while continuing our focus on culture, speed and growing our most important resource…you.”
In his address to SSC, Garrant further expounded upon how the command’s drive through change, a continuing initiative since inception, allowed the organization to fortify its posture as a premiere field command.
“I know this change is hard, but…so is acquisition, and you’re great at that,” Garrant said. “My promise to you is to lead and communicate with you. My attention will be on ensuring our acquisition and ops programs have the command support they need for success.”
While commander, Guetlein, the Space Force’s newest Vice Chief of Space Operations, oversaw a profound culture shift in the way SSC operated at all levels, driving optimization for a leaner, faster and more resilient force.
“Two and a half years ago we stood up Space Systems Command…and I challenged each of you to come to work each day with a single focus,” said Guetlein. “That single focus was to get after the threat…and it is prevalent in the way you approach your day-to-day jobs and in everything this command does.”
Guetlein mentioned that serving as the SSC commander had been one of the greatest achievements of his career and that what the team accomplished, since activation, bolstered the Space Force’s posture to get after threats in space and helped foster partnerships that ensure interoperability and maximum commitment toward resilient systems architectures.
Garrant’s dedicated service to acquisition dates to 1992 when he started his career as a Systems Engineer then Program Manager for the Document and Data Networks Division, National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. Following this assignment, he went on to serve in a variety of acquisition positions including Systems Engineer, Program Manager, Program Element Monitor, Squadron Commander, Senior Materiel Leader, Deputy Program Executive Officer and Program Executive.
Prior to taking command, Garrant served as the Space Force’s Deputy Chief of Space Operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs and Requirements, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.