OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. —
Both U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and The Royal Netherlands Air Force signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to share space situational awareness. In the transit to a 5th Generation Air Force, the Dutch Air Force relies even more on space-based systems. To ensure that the operational commander has the best Situational Awareness and Situational Understanding possible, it is imperative to include information about and from the Space domain. Cooperation throughout the Coalition is the key in creating an accurate and actual image of the influences of the Space domain and as such, we are looking forward to sharing data with USSTRATCOM and helping to enhance this picture.
“Partnerships such as these provide a foundation toward establishing international norms in the space domain, similar to air, ground, maritime and cyberspace domains,” said Rear Admiral Correll, USSTRATCOM. “Uniting with other space-faring nations promotes the responsible, peaceful, and safe use of space.”
The Royal Netherlands Air Force joins 15 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 70 commercial satellite owner/operator/launchers already participating in SSA data-sharing agreements with USSTRATCOM. SSA data-sharing agreements enhance multinational space cooperation and will streamline the process of requesting specific information gathered by USSTRATCOM’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The information is crucial for (inter)national operational mission planning purposes.
“Our societies, economies and, equally important, our military operations largely depend on space-based assets. Vulnerable assets that require protection. To safeguard operations in this rather congested domain and to allow for safe access to and from space, Space Situational Awareness is of utmost importance. Together we will be better equipped to accomplish that mission, by seeking transparency throughout the Coalition and sharing data as much as possible. In that regard the space-domain is no different than any of the other domains. One team, One mission!”, said Director of Operations RNLAF, Air Commodore Steur.
“Data-sharing arrangements such as these strengthen our shared space situational awareness,” Correll said. “Enhancing space situational awareness, which serves as the foundation for all our space operations, is vital in this congested domain.”