Defence to form Space Division headquarters

By on 19 May, 2021

Image courtesy ADF

The Australian Defence Force will form a Space Division headquarters within the RAAF early next year, with personnel drawn from all areas within the military.

“We use space daily for understanding the weather, navigating, access to geospatial information and sharing information across Australia or across the world,” said Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld.

“Defence is delivering capabilities including space domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communications and space-based Earth observation, and navigation.”

The federal government has committed to investing nearly $7 billion this decade to ensure the ADF has secure access to space, space services and geospatial information.

Air Marshal Hupfeld, who is currently conducting a review to into how space capabilities are managed, acquired and operated, said that while space capabilities are essential, it “does not mean that Defence encourages the militarisation of space”.

“All space operations are conducted consistent with international and domestic legal obligations.”

The inaugural head of the Defence Space Division will be Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, with Air Marshal Hupfeld saying “there is no person better suited for the job”.

“To reach for the stars and actually get there is a phenomenal feeling,” said Air Vice-Marshal Roberts. “As an aero-space engineer I have always been fascinated by space — the ultimate high-ground.”

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