Thursday, November 24 2022

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE – With more than 15 exchange and liaison officers assigned to various units at Vandenberg Space Force Base, there’s a good chance the U.S. military and civilians here will have the opportunity to interact and work side by side with them at any given time.

To help introduce international officers to more people and to better understand what they do as part of the space enterprise, the Combined Space Operations Center has organized a “Coalition Call to All” based on October 15.

About 40 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force officers from the Combined Force Space Component Command and the Combined Space Operations Center attended the general call, which was limited in size to meet COVID security restrictions.

Three international partners stationed here, led by Royal Air Force Group Captain Darren Whiteley, Deputy Commander of the Combined Space Operations Center, took the time to explain their roles here and answer questions.

“International partnerships are essential to enable all of us to expand and enhance our network and capabilities with fewer resources, deter adversaries from attacking our systems, and merge our thinking on operations and security concepts. spatial, ”Whiteley said.

“This call to all only strengthens our partnership, allowing more interaction and transparency between the military and cultures.”

In addition to Whiteley, Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Boileau, Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Space Detachment, and Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Adam Tooth, Deputy the division of plans at the Combined Space Operations Center. , spent nearly two hours talking about their military career path and answering questions from the public.

Topics covered included officer rank structure and career progression in their respective armies, an overview of their military assignments and the space operations capabilities of their respective countries.

Discussions took place at an unclassified level under Chatham House rules, which allowed for frank discussion in the room.

The idea to make the general appeal came from an unlikely source – a question from a judge advocate captain who visited the Combined Space Operations Center earlier in the year.

Lt. Col. Jason Thompson, commanding officer of 65 Cyber ​​Squadron, said Delta 30 space launch judge-advocate Captain Jenny Gallegos asked if the Combined Space Operations Center has organized anything to give Allied partners a chance to talk about their military experiences.

This one question made him think even more.

“When working side-by-side with coalition partners, it is sometimes too easy to focus on the day-to-day work and never take a step back to look at the big picture – that several nations can work together to achieve goals. common, ”said Thompson.

“I hope this open forum will allow officers of the US Air Force and US Space Force to learn more about our coalition partners from a global perspective, rather than in the workplace.” , he continued.

“The better we understand how each of us thinks about or conducts military operations, the better we will work together in times of crisis.

Major Brian Thorn, director of operations for 65 Cyber ​​Squadron, coordinated the general call, keeping in mind the importance of his past experiences working with Allied forces in shaping his partnership mindset.

“I was fortunate as a second lieutenant to have an RAF officer as pilot-in-command when I was posted to 2 Space Warning Squadron at Buckley AFB in 2011,” Thorn said.

“The squadron was, and I believe it still is, a combined USSF / USAF, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force squadron. I am growing in leaps and bounds as an officer, ”he said.

“I hope these types of meetings will do the same for officers here at CSpOC. “


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