The youngest branch of the United States military has recently announced a significant shift in its intelligence-gathering efforts and keeps tabs on adversaries’ rapidly growing space capabilities.

According to the service’s senior intelligence officer this week, the United States Space Force is set to concentrate about 75 percent of its intelligence-gathering efforts on China and Russia. This move comes in response to Beijing’s expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific region and Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

US Space Force intelligence deputy chief Major General Gregory Gagnon recently shed light on these developments and highlighted the key factors driving this strategic decision.

Death star with chinese flag
An imagined super-secret Chinese Death Star. AI image generated by SOFREP.

The Intelligence Allocation Breakdown

As part of its revamped intelligence strategy, the service has allocated three-quarters of its resources intelligence-wise to monitoring China and Russia. Of this allocation, approximately half is directed toward China, while a quarter is dedicated to Russia. Gagnon emphasized that the ongoing conflict plays a significant role in this distribution.

“From an intelligence perspective … about half of what we do is focused on China. About 25 percent of what we do is focused on Russia, and a lot of that has to do because of the current conflict,” Gagnon said, as quoted by Breaking Defense.

The service has also significantly bolstered its human resources to facilitate this heightened focus. Gagnon revealed that the Space Force now boasts a cadre of “1,500-plus space intelligence professionals.” This influx of specialized talent has already yielded tangible benefits, notably in educating the broader Defense Department about the escalating threats targeting especially US space systems.

Meanwhile, the remaining 25 percent are distributed among other global regions and the commercial sector. This diversified approach ensures that the Space Force maintains situational awareness across the globe, preventing surprises and enabling a comprehensive understanding of emerging threats and opportunities.

Meet Space Force’s Delta 18

The centerpiece of the Space Force’s intelligence operations is the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC), also known as Delta 18, under the Space Operations Command. Established in June 2022 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, NSIC is at the forefront of comprehending a broad portfolio that includes China, Russia, other nations, and commercial entities. Gagnon praised NSIC’s role in preventing strategic surprise and enhancing the Space Force’s overall intelligence capabilities.