An artist's rendering of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satelliteOfficials from the Defense Department, U.S. Strategic Command and three allied nations signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday on combined space operations to strengthen deterrence, enhance resilience and optimize resources.

At a meeting in Ottawa, Canada, officials from DoD, Stratcom, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom signed the Combined Space Operations, or CSpO, Initiative memorandum of understanding.

The initiative will give participating nations an understanding of the current and future space environment, an awareness of space capability to support global operations and military-to-military relationships to address challenges and ensure the peaceful use of space, DoD officials said.

Operations focus areas

Focus areas for combined space operations include space situational awareness, force support, launch and reentry assessment and contingency operations.”As space becomes more congested and contested, it is imperative that we work together to ensure we preserve access,” Stratcom Commander Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney said in a statement. . . .

Douglas L. Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said Stratcom, like all geographic and functional combatant commands, has a longstanding history of cooperative and collaborative engagement with the armed forces of foreign nations.

“Coalitions and partnerships represent a necessary step within national security that increases transparency, strengthens deterrence, improves mission assurance, enhances resilience and optimizes resources across participating nations,” Loverro said.

The United States has a long history of combined operations in the missile warning mission area and explored the concept in space war games even before the National Security Space Strategy was published in January 2011, he added. . . .

The CSpO initiative was built to maximize participants’ strategic advantage in space, he said, by leveraging their existing, developing and forecasted space-based capabilities.

The concept was built on a three-tiered approach of cooperation, collaboration and integration in which partner nations participate based on their capacity and willingness to share, their national security priorities, and their current level of integration in Joint Space Operations Center, or JSpOC, activities.