VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) conducted a mission analysis with representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States from Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, 2022, at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif.
Together, the seven participating countries analyzed the CSpOC’s Mission Essential Tasks List (METLs), which outlines the items critical to maintaining day-to-day operations required to deliver combat relevant space capabilities to combatant commanders and allied partners.
“This is the first time a CSpOC mission analysis has been conducted with allies and mission partners,” said Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Group Captain Julien Greening, CSpOC deputy director. “There was a mission analysis conducted in 2018 when the center was transitioning from a Joint Space Operations Center to the current Combined SpOC, but a lot has changed since then.”
The CSpOC currently hosts exchange officers from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, all of whom are critical to daily combined space operations.
“CSpOC exchange officers work together with their U.S. counterparts by providing planning support to the CFSCC commander,” said RAAF Squadron Leader Adam Tooth, CSpOC Strategy and Plans Division deputy chief and CSpOC mission analysis action officer. “We help to defend space assets, provide rapid and timely space-related combat support, operate in a denied or degraded space environment, and coordinate with USSPACECOM for planning, exercise and TTP [tactics, techniques, and procedures] development. We also provide appropriate assigned and attached forces with related intelligence, situational awareness, and other support as able to execute effective combined space operations.”
In attendance at the mission analysis were also observing nation members, who had the opportunity to provide relevant insights and feedback.
“This mission analysis included observers in attendance from Germany, New Zealand and France,” said Tooth. “By being present at the mission analysis, observers were exposed to the collective thinking, discussion and tasks.”
Whether there as an observer or as one of the nations with exchange officers sitting on the CSpOC floor every day, participants found great value in the week’s activities.
“As observers, our hope was to gain more insight into the future,” said German Air Force Lt. Col. Karsten Auras, German Space Command Operations Planning lead and mission analysis participant. “In this regard, it has been a very successful trip, we have learned a lot.”
“We have had a good working relationship with the participants,” added German Army Lt. Col. Kai Busch, German Cyber Information Domain Services Plans desk officer for space. “There have been great discussions and we’ve made major progress.”
While this mission analysis was progress towards the team’s desired end state of having partners that are integrated and interoperable, there is still more work that needs to be done.
“This is a first step toward strengthening our collaboration to achieve combined operations…coming together to agree on the way forward and updating the tasks we need to accomplish together,” said Justin Langlois, Aerospace senior project engineer and CSpOC mission analysis facilitator. “The next step is determining how and who will accomplish those tasks. Each nation will have to look at the tasks and their capabilities and determine how we can buttress one another to ensure we meet the desired outcomes.”