As of 2020[update], the only country with an independent space force is the United States, which established the United States Space Force in December 2019, while Russia previously had the Russian Space Forces as an independent arm of service, although they now are a sub–branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces. France has a consolidated air and space force, the French Air and Space Force.
In 1992, the Russian Space Forces were established as an independent arm of service (but not a military branch) within the Russian Armed Forces. In 1997, it was merged into the Strategic Missile Forces, but this decision put military space at an extreme disadvantage, and in 2001, it was reestablished as an independent arm of service. In 2011, it became the core of the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, which merged Russia's space and air defense forces into one service. In 2015, the Russian Air Force and Russian Aerospace Defense Forces were merged to form the Russian Aerospace Forces, which reestablished the Russian Space Forces as one of its three sub-branches, although it is no longer an independent entity.
Military space development within the United States started with the Army Air Forces in 1945, and most of its space forces were organized within the United States Air Force, which became the executive agent for space in 1962. In 1982, the Air Force created Air Force Space Command, which merged all USAF space forces into one command. The United States Army and United States Navy both possess significantly smaller numbers of space assets, centralized in the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Navy Tenth Fleet. Operational command of space operations is centralized within United States Space Command, which previously existed from 1985 to 2002, and was reestablished in August 2019. In December 2019, the U.S. Congress authorized the creation of the United States Space Force, which was officially established on 20 December 2019. This new service branch was created by redesignating Air Force Space Command as the U.S. Space Force and elevating it to become an independent service branch.