The Principals’ Board for the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative came together in Ottawa, Canada, for its annual meeting last week to formally recognize the addition of France and Germany to the CSpO initiative. Participants also discussed the current and future space environment; coordinated policy, global operations and capabilities; and addressed challenges and opportunities that have arisen in the previous year.
The decisions by France and Germany to formally become members of CSpO alongside Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States help further develop multilateral space collaboration between CSpO nations. Additionally, these decisions directly supports U.S. Space Command’s deterrence mission through the expansion of key allied partnerships – a major priority of General John “Jay” Raymond, the Commander of the U.S. Space Force.
The Principal’s Board marks the first meeting of its kind, with Germany formally joining the CSpO initiative in December 2019, and France becoming a formal member on 11 February 2020. The CSpO partners have been actively working together to address space security requirements since 2014.
Raymond has focused much of his effort on nurturing these types of alliances and partnerships in the space domain.
“The U.S. does not go it alone in space,” Raymond said. “Our allies help us to retain space superiority and provide a stronger foundation for our combat effectiveness. We welcome our French and German partners into the CSpO initiative and look forward to the continued strengthening of our collective space domain awareness, and the CSpO initiative as a whole.”
Initially signed in 2014, the CSpO initiative brought together the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in a more coordinated space domain awareness effort. New Zealand was a signatory to the initiative in 2015.
Focus areas for CSpO include space domain awareness, force support, launch and reentry assessment, and contingency operations. This year’s Principals’ Board meeting included discussions on space architecture, space policy, and responsible behaviour in the space domain. The principals also participated in tabletop exercises to identify and highlight best practices for combined space operations.