British military launches its own Space Command with official opening

The military emblem for Britain's new Space Command was presented to personnel, as the military agency was launched on Friday. Photo courtesy of RAF Flyingdales/Twitter

By Ed Adamczyk,
Published by Defense News, 30 July 2021

July 30 (UPI) — Britain established its Space Command on Friday in a ceremonial opening, with responsibilities split between three specific groups to form a joint space command, Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced on Friday.

The British military budget includes $1.95 billion, over 10 years, for space capabilities, part of a defense budget increase of $33.34 billion in the next four years.

Officially called the “U.K. Space Command,” the new agency will immediately take command and control of the country’s Space Operations Center, its SKYNET military communications center and the ballistic early warning radar station at RAF Flyingdales in northeastern England.

“Under the leadership of Air Vice Marshal Paul Godfrey, the Joint Command will have oversight of all space capability development in the Ministry of Defense across three main areas; space operations; space workforce training and growth; and space capability to develop and deliver space equipment programmers,” a Defense Ministry statement on Friday said.

British leaders met for the opening of the Space Command headquarters at the Royal Air Force Base in High Wycombe, near London, on Friday.

They awarded “Space Operator” badges, with a new Space Command emblem, to eight members of the headquarters personnel.

“As our adversaries advance their space capabilities, it is vital we invest in space to ensure we maintain a battle-winning advantage across this fast-evolving operational domain,” Defense Minister for Procurement Jeremy Quin said in the ministry’s statement.

“The stand-up of Space Command is an exciting and important step in our commitment to operate in space effectively,” Quin said.

The United States launched its Space Force as a separate military branch in 2019, charging it with a broad mission to organize, train and equip space forces to protect U.S. and allied interests in space.

On July 13, of this year, Germany opened its own space command center at the Center for Air Operations in Uedem, near the Dutch border.

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