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.