Space Force chief seeks European alliances to counter threats

Space Force chief seeks European alliances to counter threats

The United States seeks partners to counter threats in space from China and Russia, U.S. Space Force chief Gen. John Raymond said during a European trip.

Raymond met with representatives from Luxemburg, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium on Thursday, seeking to build relationships leading to cooperation of allies in the space domain.

Since the Space Force’s creation in 2019, space is regarded by the Pentagon as a military responsibility and space-related missions have been shifted from the Air Force to the new branch.

“We have seen what China and Russia have done in developing a suite of capabilities designed to deny our access to space,” Raymond said.

“The space domain shifts from a peaceful, benign domain to [one] that is much more congested, much more competitive and much more contested. Partners are important to us, and there are opportunities for like-minded nations,” he said.

The defense ministries of France, Britain and Germany each have a space component and, in 2019, NATO recognized space as an operational domain.

Raymond noted that China and Russia have developed jamming systems, weaponized spacecraft and land-based missiles capable of striking satellites.

“It’s very concerning to me, what I see China doing in space,” Raymond later told the Luxemburg news website Delano. “That’s our focus, to make sure that we can protect and defend the domain so economies can flourish, so diplomacy can flourish, so information can flourish.”

He also acknowledged that Luxemburg, a relatively small country in Europe, is the home of SES, the world’s largest commercial telecommunications and satellite business.

“There’s a lot of excitement about all sectors of space. What we’re seeing is that the innovation in commercial industry is really impressive,” Raymond said.