Exercise Global Lightning 20 successfully concluded with the most commercial partnership participation to date at the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 30, 2020.
This year civilian personnel from seven commercial companies affiliated with the Commercial Integration Cell supported the exercise by rapidly identifying, diagnosing and resolving on-orbit requirements, while also increasing the overall resilience of Combined Force Space Component Command operations at the CSpOC.
The CIC is a collaborative government and industry effort to integrate commercial satellite owners and operators into the CSpOC to pursue greater cooperation and synergy in the space environment.
GL20 provided training opportunities for commercial partners, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Space Force headquarters staff, and participating components, to integrate and synchronize space effects in support of multi-domain operations across several combatant commands.
“We are teaming in new ways with our commercial partners to integrate their agile and rapid solutions, to enhance our resiliency, and to defend our warfighters,” said Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, Combined Force Space Component Commander, U.S. Space Command, and Commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force. “With our partnerships in the Commercial Integration Cell, we are much better postured to protect our assets in space and our forces on earth.”
Maximizing CIC participation during GL20 enhanced classified and unclassified communication and planning between military and commercial participants, increasing commercial partners’ understanding of unique Department of Defense requirements during notional crisis and contingencies.
Space capabilities provided by CIC partners include, but are not limited to Low Earth Orbit, Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit, and satellites with multiband communication support, mobility communications, voice and data connections, spatial and space-based technology solutions, and terrestrial imaging.
“When our commercial partners came to participate this year they left their companies’ badge at home and became part of the total force,” said Col. Scott D. Brodeur, Director, Combined Space Operations Center, and Commander, 614th Air Operations Center. “They are a critical element of our integrated satellite communications and imagery architecture. We are proud to work alongside our commercial partners to protect our nations’ interests, and to protect the space domain for future generations to come.”