OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. —
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) entered into an agreement with the Belgium Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information.
The arrangement, which will enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations, was formalized in a memorandum of understanding that was signed by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, USSTRATCOM director of plans and policy, on Feb. 7, at USSTRATCOM headquarters, and Ms. Elke Sleurs, Belgium’s secretary of state for science policy, on Jan. 31, in Brussels.
“Our space systems underpin a wide range of services, providing vital national, military, civil, scientific, and economic benefits to the global community,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, USSTRATCOM commander. “Enhancing space situational awareness is absolutely vital in this congested and contested domain.”
“For a country such as Belgium having implemented an advanced regulation for space activities, the support from USSTRATCOM is a precious instrument in achieving compliance with our international commitments, as well as a sustainable use of outer space,” said Secretary Sleurs.
Belgium joins 11 nations (the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Israel, Spain, Germany, Australia and the United Arab Emirates), two intergovernmental organizations (the European Space Agency and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) and more than 50 commercial satellite owner/operator/launchers already participating in SSA data-sharing agreements with USSTRATCOM.
“Just like in the air, land or sea domain, we are stronger when we operate together,” said Crosier. “Agreements such as these help to strengthen our alliances while at the same time increasing our resiliency.”
SSA data-sharing agreements enhance multinational space cooperation and streamline the process for USSTRATCOM partners to request specific information gathered by USSTRATCOM’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The information is crucial for launch support, satellite maneuver planning, support for on-orbit anomalies, electromagnetic interference reporting and investigation, satellite decommissioning activities and on-orbit conjunction assessments.
"We have worked hard over the last couple of years to make the case that we want space to be a domain that is available for everyone to use," said Crosier. "But to do that we need to understand what is going in space and the best way to do that is through transparency – to share information."
One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions, assigned through the Unified Command Plan, which include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and analysis and targeting.
For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.stratcom.mil.