Allied Command Transformation is raising awareness about the importance of the space domain to the Alliance by enhancing Space Domain Awareness and improving common understanding of the space environment, including threats and risks. It also seeks to enhance engagement and cooperation with space-focused industry and academia to help NATO remain at the forefront of current developments. In doing so, these efforts aim to help NATO by leveraging space to maintain and improve situational awareness, and enhance the interoperability of national space capabilities through multiple cross-cutting efforts.
Lieutenant General David Julazadeh, Deputy Chief of Staff Capability Development, will attend the 38th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, USA from April 17-20, 2023 as NATO’s official representative. Over the course of this three-day event, Lieutenant General Julazadeh will participate as a panelist in the International Military Cooperation Panel on April 18th, alongside Space Commanders from Canada, France, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Here, he will discuss how space-faring nations can help bolster international law in space by cooperating on the development of standards, interoperability, legal aspects, and principles of responsible space behaviors.
This event is an important opportunity to bring together industry, government, and academia to collaborate and address space-related issues. As noted by Lieutenant General Julazadeh, “Cooperation in the space domain makes NATO stronger by bringing more capabilities to support the Alliance’s mission of deterrence and defence. The Space Symposium is a great opportunity to build partnerships, raise awareness of NATO and Allied Command Transformation’s efforts in the Space Domain, and bring more space understanding and expertise to the NATO workforce.”
In addition to this event, Allied Command Transformation is also participating in numerous space-related conferences and events this year: the Space Operations Summit in London, the United Kingdom, the French Air and Space Force’s 54th Space Symposium in Paris, France, and the European Union Space Forum in Brussels, Belgium, among others.
Allied Command Transformation is currently engaging in multiple space-related initiatives in support of the broader Warfare Development Agenda, emphasising the importance of space capabilities to Multi-Domain Operations and Digital Transformation efforts. In particular, it is working in conjunction with relevant stakeholders from across the NATO enterprise to develop space situational awareness, coordinate space policy, and encourage interoperability. While NATO does not seek to become an autonomous space actor, Allied Command Transformation also assists national and NATO-led efforts to procure space-related assets by helping to determine capability requirements and supporting the NATO Defence Planning Process. In addition to these efforts, Allied Command Transformation is raising awareness within the Alliance about the benefits of continuous and secure access to space services, capabilities, and effects, as well as understanding the vulnerabilities to these posed by adversaries.
NATO adopted its first Space Policy in 2019, declaring space as an operational domain and seeking to leverage the Alliance as a key forum for Allies to share information and coordinate activities on various space-related issues. Then, as now, the Space Domain remains essential to the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, with space-based capabilities providing critical civilian and military functions such as: Positioning, Navigation, Timing, Shared Early Warning from Space for missile launches, environmental monitoring, secure Satellite Communications, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Given the importance of this domain, the Alliance agreed at the 2021 Brussels Summit that attacks to, from, or within space present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance, and could lead to the invocation of Article 5.
The current policy guiding the Alliance’s efforts in the Space Domain is NATO’s Overarching Space Policy, released in 2022. In it, Allies acknowledged that while space is a global commons whose peaceful use is in the common interest of all nations, potential adversaries are developing, testing, and operationalising counter-space technologies that could threaten Allies’ access to, and freedom to operate in space. NATO’s response to these developments is comprehensive, and is rooted in integrating space-related considerations into its core tasks of deterrence and defence, crisis prevention and management, and, where appropriate, cooperative security. It is also rooted in NATO’s adherence to international law, with the Alliance supporting the development of international law and norms in cooperation with selected partners such as the United Nations and the European Union.