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RAF air commodore to be first head of UK Space Command

A Royal Air Force (RAF) air commodore is to lead the UK’s new Space Command when it stands up later this year as a joint organisation to run the country’s military space operations.

UK Space Command will be a joint organisation at High Wycombe. (Crown copyright)

UK Space Command will be a joint organisation at High Wycombe. (Crown copyright)

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey was named as the new organisation’s first commander, the RAF announced on its website on 1 February, laying out for the first time its command responsibilities and linkages across the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The RAF said that Space Command will be a joint organisation staffed by personnel drawn from all three UK armed services, MoD civilians, and members of the commercial sector at the RAF Air Command site at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. The service explained that Space Command would bring together three functions: space operations, space workforce generation, and space capability under a single two-star military commander. A senior RAF source told Janes on 2 February that new organisation would likely be up and running by early summer.

Satellite communications and navigation support, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities, would remain the responsibilities of UK Strategic Command from its headquarters at Northwood, west London.

“Direction from the [UK] National Space Council will flow through the Space Directorate in Ministry of Defence head office [in London] to Space Command and other relevant elements of defence,” said the RAF announcement. “It is envisaged that Space Command will interact with the [civilian] UK Space Agency, as required, to deliver joint national space capability.”

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