C4ISR

DOD, intel community building joint space ops center

The Defense Department and the Intelligence Community will soon be able to monitor all of their spy satellite feeds from one location, a move that will not only facilitate information sharing but will also allow for integrated testing of new capabilities.

DOD is in the process of establishing the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSpOC), along with the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command and the IC at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to an announcement. Initial testing at the facility will begin Oct. 1.

The military and intelligence communities, of course, rely heavily on satellite surveillance and in recent years officials have become increasingly concerned about threats to those space operations, as other countries build out their own space programs. At the GEOINT conference in June, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work unveiled the plans for a joint space operations center. On Friday, DOD made it official.

DOD said it is starting with $16 million drawn from DOD and intelligence agencies to establish the center, noting that it will be located in existing facilities at Schriever, without the need for new construction. A cross-agency team of about 30 people will develop the center and the requirements needed to create an effective test environment.

The JICSpOC will be an experimental center for improving space-related procedures and ensuring data fusion among DOD, IC, interagency, allied and commercial space entities, DOD’s announcement said. Among its goals is to improve the ability to identify and attribute space-related threats. The center also will be able to provide backup (but not replace) the similarly named and acronymed Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which supports military space activities.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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