President Biden nominated Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman to be the U.S. Space Force’s next Chief of Space Operations, succeeding Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, who is projected to retire later this year.

Saltzman has served as deputy chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear since August 2020, where he has overall responsibility for operations, intelligence, sustainment, cyber, and nuclear operations for the Space Force. He was previously as a satellite operator for the National Reconnaissance Office and served as the first chief of Combat Plans for the Joint Space Operations Center, and later, as chief of Combat Operations.

Raymond credited Saltzman for his space experience.

“[Saltzman’s] extensive space experience and deep understanding of how to integrate space into the defense of our nation have made him indispensable to the establishment of this service and Guardians the world over will not find a more loyal teammate.” Raymond said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Saltzman will be the second person to hold the position of the nascent service branch. This change in leadership comes as the Space Force is transitioning from the early planning and organization phases to one that focuses more on the Department of the Air Force’s operational imperatives.