RAMSTEIN, Germany - While Germany hosted the Combined Space Operations Initiative (CSpO) conference among others to welcome Italy, Norway and Japan as new participants, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Space Force officially activated the U.S. Space Forces Europe and Africa (SPACEFOREUR-AF) component command at a ceremony in Ramstein, Germany. Both events occurred on December 8, 2023.
Combined Space Operation Initiative mission is to improve cooperation, coordination, interoperability, resilience, training and both national and collective capabilities for joint military operations in space
"We are delighted that we were able to welcome three strong partners into our community: Italy, Japan and Norway," says Major General Michael Traut, Commander of our Space Command. In 2019, the Federal Republic of Germany joined the initiative Combined Space Operations or CSpO, which was founded in 2014. CSpO is a multilateral forum for improving space cooperation and building common, interoperable and resilient capabilities in space, its participants work to maintain a secure, stable, peaceful and sustainable use of space. The CSpO nations seek to be responsible partners in space and to contribute in the long term to a rules-based international order in space. On the basis of applicable international law, however, they also want to create the prerequisites for protecting and defending themselves against hostile space activities.
According to the CSpO, its mission is "to improve cooperation, coordination, interoperability, resilience, training and both national and collective capabilities for joint military operations in space. To protect these operations, a robust space architecture will be established which will respond to attacks or changes in orbit.
During the Combined Space Operations Initiative (CSpO) conference hosted by Germany, new participants Italy, Norway and Japan were welcomed. Photo courtesy Bundeswehr.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, U.S. European Command deputy commander, gives U.S. Space Force Col. Max E. Lantz, U.S. Space Forces Europe & Africa commander, command of SPACEFOREUR-AF at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The activation at Ramstein AB is part of the Department of Defense’s ongoing effort to establish Space Force service components within combatant commands to support the joint force. Photo by Madelyn Keech.
U.S. Space Force Guardians assigned to SPACEFOREUR-AF stand in a delta formation at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. SPACEFOREUR-AF provides U.S. EUCOM and AFRICOM a cadre of space experts who will work with NATO Allies and partners to integrate space efforts into shared operations, activities and investments — enhancing security and stability, and advancing key partnerships in the regions. Photo by Madelyn Keech.
Established with their permanent headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, SPACEFOREUR-AF is the newest service component under the United States European Command and Africa Command. EUCOM and AFRICOM are the latest combatant commands to establish a space component, following in the footsteps of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.
SPACEFOREUR-AF is the newest service component under the United States European Command and Africa Command with their permanent headquarters at Ramstein Air Base. EUCOM and AFRICOM are the latest combatant commands to establish a space component, following in the footsteps of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.
The activation of SPACEFOREUR-AF is a testament to our commitment to strengthening the joint space capabilities in this region
“The activation of the U.S. Space Forces Europe and Africa component at Ramstein Air Base emphasizes both the fast-growing military significance of the space domain and the importance of Germany as a reliable ally and base for the U.S. Armed Forces.” said Boris Pistorius, the German Defence Minister. “I am confident that this important step will strengthen our already excellent bilateral military partnership in space and accelerate our practical cooperation on this topic of strategic relevance.”
"The activation of SPACEFOREUR-AF is a testament to our commitment to strengthening the joint space capabilities in this region,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander for EUCOM. “Our focus is not only on protecting our space assets but also on enabling and enhancing the command's ability to provide space effects in support of our missions alongside Allies and partners," he added.
SPACEFOREUR-AF will be staffed by approximately 30 service members and commanded by U.S. Space Force Col. Max Lantz. The command will play a significant role in supporting EUCOM’s growing need for space-based capabilities such as satellite navigation, communications and integration with NATO Allies and partners.
At NATO's Allied Air Command, the NATO Space Centre's mission is to help coordinate Allied Space activities, support NATO activities and operations, and help protect Allied Space systems by sharing information about potential threats. The centre works closely with the Allies’ national Space agencies and organisations and the NATO Command Structure to fuse data, products and services provided by nations, such as imagery, navigation and early warning. By streamlining requests for Space products through a single NATO entity, we can increase the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of commanders’ decisions.