COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — US Strategic Command and the United Arab Emirates have reached an agreement to share space situational awareness services and data, the command announced Tuesday at the Space Foundation’s annual National Space Symposium.
The agreement will enhance awareness in space and increase the safety of spaceflight operations, according to an April 12 statement from STRATCOM. The deal was signed April 11 by US Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, STRATCOM director of plans and policy, and His Excellency, Dr. Khalifa Al-Romaithi, the chariman of the board of directors for the UAE Space Agency.
"We must be able to maintain situational awareness, act where necessary, and as stated in the 2010 Space Policy, preserve the space environment," said US Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, the commander of STRATCOM, according to the statement. "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."
Under the agreement, UAE will be able to request crucial information for launch support, satellite maneuver planning and other space operations from STRATCOM's Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
"This is a really important initiative between our two governments," Crosier said, according to the statement. "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."
The US already shares space situational awareness data with ten other nations: the UK, South Korea, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Israel, Spain, Germany and Australia, according to the statement. STRATCOM also shares information with two intergovernmental organizations — the European Space Agency and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites — and more than 50 commercial satellite entities.