The United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) entered into an agreement with the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information today at the 32nd Space Symposium.
The arrangement, which will enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations, was formalised in a memorandum of understanding that was signed by Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi, the UAESA chairman, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, USSTRATCOM director of plans and policy.
“We are proud to sign this important agreement that further solidifies the bilateral UAE and U.S. space relationship and will contribute to the protection of important assets of both countries in orbit,” said Chairman Al Romaithi.
“We must be able to maintain situational awareness, act where necessary, and as stated in the 2010 Space Policy, preserve the space environment,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “Recognizing an evolving and diverse space environment — and a need to preserve access in space — it is imperative we work with and leverage our key allies and partners like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to increase situational awareness in space.”
Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “Today’s signing comes within the context of the strategic targets of the UAE Space Agency, in terms of building and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with experienced international entities.”
“This is a really important initiative between our two governments,” said Crosier. “Not only does it represent a joint commitment to space safety and security, but it also represents yet another mission area in which the United States and United Arab Emirates are forging an ever stronger partnership.
SSA data-sharing agreements enhance multinational space cooperation and streamline the process for USSTRATCOM partners to request specific information gathered by USSTRATCOM’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The information is crucial for launch support, satellite maneuver planning, support for on-orbit anomalies, electromagnetic interference reporting and investigation, satellite decommissioning activities and on-orbit conjunction assessments.
“Every action we collectively take in space today will help us peacefully assure the right to access space for years to come,” said Haney. “This sharing paradigm fosters the responsible use of space by promoting transparency, enhancing spaceflight safety, and enabling exchange-focused relationships.”
One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions, assigned through the Unified Command Plan, which include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction; and analysis and targeting.