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space experiment

Participants pose in front of the lighthouse during the fifth international space experiment, Global Sentinel 2018 (GS 18), Sept. 19-28, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Virginia. The event provided an opportunity to develop and implement processes for partners from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and commercial entities to collaborate on combined space situational awareness (SSA) operations in order to enhance the quality and availability of satellite tracking information.

SUFFOLK, Va. -- U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) led its fifth international space experiment, Global Sentinel 2018 (GS 18), Sept. 19-28, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Virginia.

The event provided an opportunity to develop and implement processes for partners from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and commercial entities to collaborate on combined space situational awareness (SSA) operations in order to enhance the quality and availability of satellite tracking information.

During the exercise, each participating nation maintained a space operations center to command and control their SSA sensors, except for France and Germany, who worked together in a Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). Global Sentinel’s primary theme this year was to assess near-term, realizable improvements to current real-world space operation capabilities. The specific objective was, given each partner’s current, real-world space operation capabilities, determine if selected elements improved operations in (SSA) and/or unity of effort.

This experiment provided two elements to each space operation: an improved web-based data information exchange and forum for operational/analytical discussions; and an enhanced process and report that highlighted opportunities for sensors to observe events of interest.

 “The collaborative relationships built between partner nations during GS events have proven beneficial and have spurred interest in participation from additional nations,” said William Delaney, U.S. Strategic command operations research analyst.

The Republic of Korea and Spain were full participants in GS 18, after observing the event in 2017. Representatives from Chile, Denmark, and Norway, observed this year’s event.

Senior military officers and government officials from each participating nation, as well as executives from major industry partners, attended a distinguished visitors’ day on Sept. 27.

“Effective SSA requires cooperation—we cannot do it alone,” stated Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, deputy commander of Joint Force Space Component. “Global Sentinel is an important forum that allows us to work with our partners and allies to enhance SSA data sharing and cooperation. Global Sentinel also allows partners to examine processes, develop common procedures, and investigate future integration options.”

This event supports United States national space security objectives to promote responsible and safe use of space as well as to partner with responsible nations, international organizations, and commercial firms. Each participating nation also shares common themes in their national policies, whether stated explicitly or inferred, to recognize the importance of SSA, seek increased international cooperation, and to ensure space security and protection.

Whiting also outlined some of Global Sentinel’s benefits, stating, “Global Sentinel drove enhanced interaction between participants and their Space Operations Centers, improved participants understanding and use of SSA data available on www.Space-Track.org, and enhanced the participating nation’s ability to safely operate in space.”

USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

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