The inaugural conference was convened by the NATO Space Component Commander who hosted 75 participants including 30 General Officers and a three-time in space Italian astronaut. They all met on September 6 and 7, 2023, to debate on how to enhance the Space domain through collaboration, cooperation and information exchange.
“The Space Operations Commanders’ Conference was a truly historical event as for the first time we convened such a comprehensive group of Space domain stakeholders from Nations and NATO organisations focusing on operations,” said Colonel John Patrick, Director of the NATO Space Centre. “We had excellent exchanges, including discussion about responsible behaviour in Space which also involves the increasing number of objects in space and how to protect Allied Space systems,” Colonel Patrick added.
The two-day conference at Ramstein was a kick-off event and will be held annually underscoring the need to strengthen Space efforts and collaboration in a high-level Alliance forum.
“Space, as one of NATO’s operational domains, is essential for deterrence and defence,” said Colonel Patrick. “It enables and impacts on our navigation and the tracking of forces, satellite communications and detection of missile launches. Evolution in the use of Space and rapid advances in technology create new opportunities, but also impose risks for the Alliance. That is why coordination and cooperation among Allies Space stakeholders is so important, and we are facilitating this process with our conference,” he added.
The NATO Space Centre, hosted at Allied Air Command, is staffed with a multinational team of Space experts. It collaborates with Allies and partner nations to provide Space-related products and services in support of NATO operations, missions and activities and helps coordinate Allied Space activities, support NATO missions and operations from Space and enhance Alliance deterrence and defence by sharing information about potential threats.
Read more in the RUSI Podcast “War in Space” featuring Allied Air Command Deputy Commander Air Marshal Johnny Stringer.