New Zealand representatives have attended the US Combined Forces Space Command (CFSCC) weekly operational forum, the first time this has involved all Five Eyes nations.
Five Eyes is the term used to describe intelligence sharing and collaboration between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US.
And in a further step in the growing co-operation between the US and ally nations, a UK officer has for the first time signed the weekly combined space tasking order.
The US Space Command said operational co-ordination in the space domain continued to expand, with the growing partnership between the US, Canada, Australia and the UK in the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). Also involved are Germany, France and New Zealand.
“USSPACECOM maintains strong international alliances and partnerships to conduct operations in and through the space domain,” it said.
“Given the increasing complexity of the space environment, the coalition provides a unified response to a variety of threats presented in the warfighting domain of space. The CSpOC is primed to conduct such operations.”
CSpOC, which reports to the Combined Force Space Component Command – a subordinate command of the newly re-established USSPACECOM – executes the operational command and control of space forces to achieve theatre and global objectives.
That operates 24/7, co-ordinating, planning, integrating, synchronising and executing space operations.
USSPACECOM said recently, New Zealand space operations representatives attended the CFSCC weekly Products Brief (CPB), the operational forum where coalition space strategy is synchronised.
This was the first time the CPB occurred at the truly Five Eyes level of integration, it said.
The second milestone occurred when Deputy Director of CSpOC, RAF Group Captain Darren Whiteley, signed the weekly Combined Space Tasking Order.
This was the first time a coalition partner signed the order under Operation Olympic Defender (OOD) tasking the CFSCC subordinate units.
OOD is a multinational program to share information and resources, allowing partners to to leverage and synchronise existing capabilities.
CSpOC was stood up in July 2018 to co-ordinate space operations across the Department of Defense, other US agencies, allies, commercial and civil space partners.
“Allied partnerships are critical to defending our assets at home and in the space domain,” Gp Capt Whiteley said.
“The threat is expanding and international collaboration is essential to strengthen deterrence against hostile actors. Through these partnerships we are able to expand the depth and multiply the effects we can have to those evolving threats.”