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By U.S. Strategic Command
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) led a fourth space situational awareness (SSA) experiment Sept. 20-29, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Virginia.
The experiment, titled Global Sentinel 2017 (GS-17), provided an opportunity to develop and practice processes for collaborating on combined SSA operations for allies from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and commercial entities. This was Italy’s first year as a full participant after observing the event in 2016. Representatives from the Republic of Korea and Spain observed Global Sentinel for the first time.
The first three Global Sentinel events were referred to as SSA tabletop exercises but, according to Bill Delaney, director of Global Sentinel, the new name reflects its growing importance to international engagement and combined SSA.
“The collaborative relationships built between partner nations during Global Sentinel events have proven beneficial and spurred interest in participation from additional nations,” said Delaney.
During the event, each participating nation maintained a space operations center (SpOC) to command and control (C2) their respective SSA assets. GS-17 also experimented with a fully integrated, notional Federation SpOC (FedSpOC) to demonstrate the value of a combined and integrated C2 capability.
This year’s objective was to use the FedSpOC to inform the multinational space collaboration effort that stood up this summer at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to enhance mutual security and improve SSA by collocating allies with U.S. space operators.
“Each participating nation was represented in the FedSpOC to maintain unity of effort, improve SSA and enhance spaceflight safety,” said Delaney. “The FedSpOC enabled tactical coordination and operational-level analysis while strengthening strategic liaison with simulated national and industry leadership.”
Senior military officers and government officials from each participating nation, as well as executives from major industry partners, attended a distinguished visitor’s day Sept. 28, where they observed the event and discussed how it can influence future operations.
Global Sentinel events support U.S. national security space objectives to promote responsible, peaceful, and safe use of space as well as to partner with responsible nations, international organizations and commercial firms. Each nation participating in Global Sentinel shares similar themes in their national policies, whether stated explicitly or inferred, to recognize the importance of SSA, seek increased international cooperation and ensure space security and protection.
One of nine Department of Defense combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, space operations, cyberspace operations, joint electronic warfare, global strike, missile defense and intelligence.
For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or email@example.com, or visit www.stratcom.mil.