UK Space Command has been stood up officially at its new HQ at RAF High Wycombe, with the first ‘Space Operator’ Badges presented to personnel.
Space plays a vital role in the UK Armed Forces’ ability to undertake the majority of defence tasks, with any disruption to the space domain likely to lead to significant consequences for civilian, commercial, economic and military activity.
The stand-up of UK Space Command is crucial to protect UK interests in space and builds on the commitments outlined in the UK’s Defence Command Paper, invest an additional £1.4 billion ($2.5 billion) on space over the next 10 years. The ability to operate in Space is further enhanced by an increase in Defence funding of £24 billion over the next four years.
Under the leadership of Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey, the Joint Command will have oversight of all space capability development in the UK Ministry of Defence across three main areas:
- Space operations
- Space workforce training and growth
- Space capability to develop and deliver space equipment programmes
When at full operating capability, UK Space Command will provide command and control of all of Defence’s space capabilities, including the UK’s Space Operations Centre, RAF Fylingdales, SKYNET and other enabling capabilities.
UK Space Command will work with UK Strategic Command and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, drawing on key expertise from across Defence to ensure multi domain integration across environments.
UK Space Command carries the UK’s commitment in the Combined Space Operations initiative, which comprises of seven nations: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, UK and the U.S. The initiative seeks to improve cooperation, coordination, and interoperability opportunities in space, with main efforts focussed on ensuring a safe, secure and stable space domain.