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NATO reviews proposals for new centre of excellence on space

With NATO having declared space as an operational domain last November, the allies are now preparing to add a new space-focused centre of excellence (CoE) to their 25-strong network of alliance-affiliated national CoE’s. A decision approving the move could come as early as November, when NATO defence ministers meet for the last time this year, according to alliance sources.

NATO is preparing to establish a space CoE. (Getty Images)

NATO is preparing to establish a space CoE. (Getty Images)

The CoE will not form any part of NATO’s command structure but will more likely serve as a place “where the allies can discuss, compare notes on how each approaches the space sector, and develop ideas together on policy and operations,” a NATO official told Janes on 8 September. “It would also be useful for building up a common understanding of the challenges of space, particularly for those allies that don’t have a space sector or space command.”

Asked if the future space CoE would be assigned any concrete responsibilities by its participating nations, the official said it was uncertain whether the CoE would carry out any training or help organise space-related exercises. “My initial impression is that I don’t see it doing any tabletop exercises, for example, but it is just too early to tell. The allies will have to decide what they want to do with it.”

There are two proposals to host the CoE, which Allied Command Transformation has been reviewing over the past year. One is from France, which has offered to co-host the CoE at its new space command in Toulouse, and the other is from Germany, which would site it alongside NATO’s Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) of excellence, located in Kalkar.


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