Defense

May 15, 2013

STRATCOM strives to build coalitions for space operations

Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Recognizing the value of multinational coalitions for operations in the land, maritime and air domains, officials at U.S. Strategic Command here hope to forge a coalition that shares assets and capabilities in space.

The U.S. and its allies are discussing details for the first agreement of its kind promoting combined space operations, Brig. Gen. David D. Thompson, the†STRATCOM’s deputy director of global operations, told American Forces Press Service.

The agreement could spell out specific areas in which the participating nations will work together, and what each will contribute to those efforts, Thompson said.

The agreement will formalize an arrangement tested last year during a period discovery. Based on the findings, the U.S. and its allies agreed in September to continue working toward closer combined space operations.

Thompson said he hopes the agreement will be the first step in forging international military-to-military cooperation in space that is essential to all. The STRATCOM staff already is promoting the concept with what is hoped to be the next wave of nations to join the coalition.

“Our intent with combined space operations is to mirror some of the partnerships we have in other mission areas that are long-term and enduring,” Thompson said.

Space is vital to military operations, providing an array of capabilities that give space-faring nations’ forces a military advantage, he said. These include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that enhance war fighters’ situational awareness, space-based communications that provide them instant, global communications, and global positioning systems that deliver highly accurate navigation and targeting positions.

“This gives them an awareness and understanding that enhances their capabilities to conduct operations the way no other armed forces can today,” Thompson said. “That’s why it’s vitally important to our military forces.”

However, as more nations, organizations and commercial companies vie to take advantage of space-based capabilities, the once-pristine space domain is becoming increasingly congested and competitive, Thompson said.

And of particular concern to military leaders, space is an increasingly contested domain, with potential adversaries hoping to level the playing field by denying access to space and space-based capabilities, he said. The response, Thompson said, must be the same unity in numbers that has proven itself out in every other domain. Coalitions provide more capability than any one nation can provide alone, while also sending an important deterrent message to potential adversaries, he said.

Unlike recent coalitions, formed for specific periods to accomplish specific objectives, Thompson said he hopes those formed for operations in space endure.

“We have enduring requirements and enduring interests that are common among ourselves. So we see this as a longer-standing coalition with these nations,” he said.

Working together to support their shared interests and objectives, Thompson said, the coalition members will help ensure that space remains a global common open to all.

“Joining together in a coalition is a statement of assurance that each nation is committed to effective, mutually supportive conduct of operations in space,” he said. “We are united in a coalition sense when it comes to operations in space and providing those capabilities for each nation.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

New’s Briefs May 4, 2015

Senator proposes extended military foreclosure protection Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he has introduced legislation to help protect military service members from losing their homes to foreclosure. The Rhode Island Democrat said May 2 he has introduced a bill to extend one that is due to expire this year. The law protects service members for a...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Global Hawk earns unprecedented third consecutive sustainment award

Northrop Grumman photograph A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk on a runway in Palmdale, Calif. For an unprecedented third year in a row, the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft program was officially awarded the Dr...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Most advanced GPS satellite comes together

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin recently fully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s first next generation GPS III satellite at the company’s Denver-area satellite manufacturing facility.  The first in a design block ...
 

 
navair-fire-scout

MQ-8C Fire Scout completes developmental flight test

Northrop Grumman photograph An MQ-8C Fire Scout†conducts its†final†developmental test flight April 29 from Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu, Calif.† Since its first flight in October 2013, the Navy’s new, l...
 
 
boeing-swiss

Boeing, SWISS finalize order for three additional 777-300ERs

Boeing, the Lufthansa Group and Swiss International Air Lines have finalized an order for three additional 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, valued at $990 million at current list prices. This order, previously attributed t...
 
 
nasa-ames

NASA announces new director of Ames Research Center

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced May 4 the selection of Dr. Eugene L. Tu as the next director of the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, effective immediately. Tu most recently served as the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>