Germany Establishes New Military Space Command
MILITARISM, 19 Jul 2021
13 Jul 2021 – The German military has announced the creation of a separate command dedicated to space, becoming the latest of a handful of nations prioritizing more resources and missions among the stars.
The Ministry of Defence introduced the new space command in a July 13 ceremony at the German Space Situational Awareness Centre in Uedem, located in the country’s North Rhine-Westphalia region.
Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer provided a keynote speech for the event.
The military is “responding to the increasing significance of space for our state’s ability to function, the prosperity of our population, and the increasing dependency of the armed forces on space-supported data, services and products,” the ministry said in a statement.
Since 2009, the German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, has used the center to monitor space assets, order maneuvering of systems and recommend evasion routes to commercial satellite operators, according to the German Aerospace Center. In fall 2020, the Air and Space Operations Center, or ASOC, was inaugurated there in response to NATO’s declaration of space as a new operational domain at the alliance’s 2019 meeting in London, England.
As with NATO, the emphasis for ASOC was more on space as a defensive domain, with the aim of protecting German systems and further investing in space situational awareness, according to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
Berlin is not alone in its efforts to create a separate military space entity. The U.S. Space Force was established in late 2019 as a separate military branch under the Department of the Air Force, and now boasts a separate budget line from the Air Force and its own representation on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond. While initial Space Force personnel were transferred in from space-related units within the Air Force, the nascent service will soon welcome its first — and soon to be former — Marines, soldiers and sailors.
The U.S. officially reestablished its Space Command on Aug. 29, 2019, which is technically the second iteration of an American space command. Established in 1985, the first Space Command was ultimately merged into U.S. Strategic Command in 2002 as part of the military reorganization following the Sept. 11 attacks.
In fall 2020, France renamed its Air Force to become the Air and Space Force, after creating its new space command Commandement de l’espace in 2019. The United Kingdom also established a separate space command in spring 2021 as a joint command staffed with personnel from the British Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the civil service.
NATO has named space as one of its top seven priorities for emerging and disruptive technologies, or EDT. The member nations’ defense ministers endorsed a new strategy in March to ensure the alliance fosters these technologies through increased cooperation with innovation hubs and nontraditional industry, and to protect EDT investment from export issues and outside influence.
Nathan Strout, of C4ISRNET, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Vivienne Machi is a reporter based in Stuttgart, Germany, contributing to Defense News‘ European coverage. She previously reported for National Defense Magazine, Defense Daily, Via Satellite, Foreign Policy and the Dayton Daily News. She was named the Defence Media Awards’ best young defense journalist in 2020.
Tags: Arms Industry, Arms Trade, Atomic Weapons, Catastrophe Capitalism, Competition, Defense, Disaster Capitalism, Military Industrial Complex, Military Supremacy, Predatory Capitalism, Savage Capitalism, US Military, Weapons
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Join the discussion!
We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.