A new Space Force service component will focus on China’s growing military capabilities,  National Defense is reporting.

It was China’s military threat that sparked the plan to put the first service component in the Indo-Pacific region, said Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, deputy chief for operations, nuclear and cyber, during a Defense Writers Group event.

Space Force is the military’s new service and is pushing ahead slowly, according to National Defense.

“We’re small and we’re going to have to grow slowly, and we’ll take the baby steps to get it right,” Saltzman said. “We won’t just over expand too quickly.”

He did not detail the time frame for the service component, but said Space Force was working through administrative matters with the State Department and Pentagon

Saltzman also revealed Space Force is watching Ukraine.

He noted the “heavy reliance” on satellite communications and other space-based capability playing out. He singled out Starlink, the satellite-based internet division of SpaceX, which successfully fought off a Russian jamming attack in Ukraine..

According to a report on the C4ISRNET website, Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, pointed to Starlink’s ability in March to swiftly thwart a Russian effort to jam the satellite broadband service. The service has been keeping Ukraine connected to the Internet.

Saltzman said the commercial capabilities of Starlink have put the focus on the value of satellite constellation proliferation. “They’re very hard to deny because it’s such a widespread set of targets,” he said. “You can’t just jam one satellite and achieve that effect.”

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