Earth at night as seen from space 200114 CREDIT LIEV SAVYTSKYI/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Space

UK Space Command Officially Forms

It will initially be located at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, whilst options for a long-term location are considered.

Earth at night as seen from space 200114 CREDIT LIEV SAVYTSKYI/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

The UK Space Command, a Joint Command staffed by personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service, has officially formed.

It brings together three functions under a single 2-star military commander: space operations, space workforce training and growth and space capability - developing and delivering space equipment programmes.

When fully operational, UK Space Command will provide command and control of all of defence's space capabilities.

This will include the UK Space Operations Centre (SpOC), which is responsible for understanding and monitoring space to protect, defend and allow access to the UK's orbit assets.

The command will also oversee Skynet Satellite Communications, which provide strategic satellite communication (SATCOM) services to the British Armed Forces and UK allies.

It will also be responsible for RAF Fylingdales in north Yorkshire.

The base delivers a ballistic missile early warning service to the UK and US governments, monitoring objects in space and supporting the US' developing Missile Defense System.

UK Space Command will oversee RAF Fylingdales (Picture: MOD).

UK Space Command will also be responsible for the recruitment, training and development of defence personnel working in the space domain.

The newly formed Joint Command will work 'extremely' closely with Strategic Command and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), according to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Together, they will specifically explore options for new capabilities, enable integration across multiple domains and make the most of the research and development expertise across defence.

It will also work alongside the MOD Space Directorate, responsible for Defence Space policy and strategy, plus cross-Government and international coordination, including continuing the UK's commitment to the Combined Space Operations initiative.

Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey was announced as the first Commander of UK Space Command in February (Picture: RAF).

Comprising seven nations – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, UK and US – the initiative's main effort is to 'ensure a safe, secure and stable space domain'.

UK Space Command will also take command of the UK's participation in the US-led Space Coalition under Operation OLYMPIC DEFENDER and support the growth of the NATO space enterprise.

The new Joint Command will also receive direction from the National Space Council through the Space Directorate as well as work with the UK Space Agency when needed.

It will initially be located at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, whilst options for a long-term location are under consideration by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey was announced as the first Commander of UK Space Command in February.

Cover image: Liev Savytskyi/Alamy Stock Photo.