3 Canadian Space Division Celebrates First Birthday

3 Canadian Space Division. Credit: DND.

The Canadian Armed Forces celebrated the first birthday of the 3 Canadian Space Division (3CSD) on July 22. It marked a busy year for the new division including the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MOU).

RCAF Space Mission Assurance Strategy

Shortly after the stand-up of 3 CSD the RCAF released the Space Mission Assurance Strategy (PDF) (SMA Strategy). In his foreword on the SMA Strategy, Lieutenant-General A.D. Meinzinger Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force states that the “Strategy reflects the increasing importance of Space to the success of Defence operations both at home and abroad. It is also closely aligned with Canada’s Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged, which acknowledges increasing threats in the space domain and the vulnerability of Defence space assets to these threats, and commits to defending and protecting those space capabilities upon which the nation’s security, sovereignty and prosperity depend.”

One key areas of work during the first year according to the RCAF was the “increasing ‘spacemindedness’ across the CAF (Canadian Armed Forces), deepening relationships with its allies, and assessing capabilities it will need in the future.”

On May 8 of this year the CAF marked a new milestone in its history when the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) issued its first named operation specific to space, Operation STRATUS. CAF describes Operation STRATUS as recognizing “space as a competitive, congested and contested domain, and directs the integration of space capabilities into all Canadian Armed Forces operations.”

There were also three MOU’s signed including:

  • The CAF and the Canadian Space Agency renewed a long-standing MOU Concerning Cooperation in Space Related Activities. This agreement identifies new objectives and strengthens areas of collaboration from the original, which was signed in 2001.
  • The RCAF and United States Space Command signed an MOU concerning Enhanced Space Cooperation. The agreement will serve as a framework for deepened military cooperation in the space domain between the two nations’ militaries. It aims to increase the exchange of information, balance military space requirements, and identify potential collaborative studies, projects, and activities.
  • The CAF and the National Reconnaissance Office of the United States of America renewed a Memorandum of Understanding for Defense Space Cooperation and Capability Development. The agreement, which was originally signed in 2018, enhances space Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance cooperation and capability development as it recognizes a shared interest in advancing the use of space and space-based systems for national security, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and other areas of mutual benefit.

Another notable event was “the re-establishment in Ottawa of 7 Wing (Space), comprised of 7 Wing Headquarters, 7 Space Operations Squadron (7 SOPS), and 7 Operations Support Squadron (7 OSS), which staffs the CANSpOC.”

According to the CAF, “7 Wing (Space) efforts in its first year have focused on building the organization, updating and formalizing training for CAF members, continuing to evolve Space Domain Awareness (SDA), and growing other space control areas such as space electronic warfare. Examples on the training side include working with the RCAF’s Barker College to revamp the Basic Space Operations Course and the Space Operations Course to better educate and train members for future space-related positions. Moreover, 7 Wing (Space) developed the Space Operations Senior Course, modeled after the US’ Space 300 course, which covers national and international space policy, strategy, and capability development to better understand how these elements interact.”

The RCAF also made mention of one of its own, Colonel Jeremy Hansen, who is still an active duty RCAF officer detached to the Canadian Space Agency and who will be the first Canadian to fly to the moon as part of the Artemis II mission.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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