The UK Government has officially unveiled its new Space Command, which aims to protect the country’s interests and capabilities in space.
A special ceremony held at Space Command Headquarters, RAF High Wycombe yesterday (Thursday 29th July) marked the official opening of UK Space Command.
The ceremony saw the country’s first ‘Space Operator’ badges presented to personnel.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston presented the first eight personnel with the badges, which signify the “excellence of space professionals across defence”.
Six members of the Royal Air Force received the badge, as well as a British Army officer, and an exchange officer from the United States.
According to the government, the launch of UK Space Command is a crucial step to ensure Britain’s interest in space are protected.
The launch builds on commitments outlined in the Defence Command Paper to invest £1.4bn on space capabilities over the next 10 years.
Last year, the Prime Minister announced a £24bn increase in defence funding over the next four years, with Britain’s ability to operate in space a key focus.
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Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said: “As our adversaries advance their space capabilities, it is vital we invest in space to ensure we maintain a battle-winning advantage across this fast-evolving operational domain.
“The stand-up of Space Command is an exciting and important step in our commitment to operate in space effectively.”
How will UK Space Command operate?
UK Space Command will be led by Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey while the Joint Command will oversee all space capability development in the Ministry of Defence.
Once fully operational, it will provide command and control of all of Britain’s space capabilities, including the UK’s Space Operations Centre, RAF Fylingdales, SKYNET and other enabling capabilities.
The new command will also work with UK Strategic Command and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, drawing on expertise from across Britain’s defence sector.
Air Vice Marshal Paul Godfrey commented: “The space domain is vital, not just in enabling military operations across the world, but in the day to day lives of everyone across the nation.
“With our new headquarters officially open, UK Space Command is now on the path to lead UK space operations to protect UK and allied interests in space.”