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Joint Task Force-Space Defense

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NEWS | Aug. 4, 2022

U.S. Space Command partners with National Guard State Partnership Program to strengthen space cooperation

By Brig. Gen. Jesse Morehouse U.S. Space Command

U.S. Army Brigadier General Jesse Morehouse, U.S. Space Command’s deputy director for policy, plans and strategy, and members of the National Guard Bureau will visit multiple National Guard locations in the next two months to discuss the importance of partners and allies, security cooperation, and the value the National Guard’s State Partnership Program brings to US Space Command.
 
“The National Guard’s demonstrated space expertise, paired with the State Partnership Program, offers a readily-available capability to strengthen the integration of the space domain into larger deterrence efforts,” said Lt. Col. Nicole David, Director of the Strategic Initiatives Group for the National Guard Bureau, Space Operations. The National Guard’s unique advantage is its military-focused space expertise that’s paired with aerospace industry context gained from service members’ positions as civilian space professionals. “Presently, about 45% of our part-time space professionals are working in the civilian aerospace industry” said David.

The team will travel to National Guard units currently performing space missions throughout California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Tennessee and New York. As part of their visit, they will meet with leaders within the National Guard space community as well as build relationships with leadership from surrounding states.
 
As a military organization that supports both state and federal missions, the National Guard promotes USSPACECOM initiatives by strengthening relationships with international partners. In April, members from the New York Air National Guard’s 222nd Combat and Control Squadron offered instruction to Brazilian airmen assigned to Brazil’s Aerospace Operations Command in space operations and best practices for information collection and storage. 

In August, the California National Guard hosted the head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine at Vandenberg Space Force Base. The California Guard and Ukraine have been partners under the State Partnership Program since 1993. 
 
“We have worked with Ukraine armed forces for decades on a myriad of capabilities,” said Brig. Gen. Steven J. Butow, commander, California Air National Guard and director of space portfolio for the Defense Innovation Unit. “California is proud to be able to carry out USSPACECOM’s objective by supporting Ukraine in its space goals. We have the space expertise as well as a rapport based on a mutual trust to be able to demonstrate measurable progress alongside our partners.”
 
For almost 30 years, the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program has been building relationships to build partner capacity and improve interoperability, and has grown to include 85 partnerships with 93 nations around the world. USSPACECOM has identified 82 nations for potential security cooperation engagements, 45 of which have State Partnership Programs.
 
“We need the Guard’s help to engage globally with our partners, and the relationships forged by the SPP are an advantageous foundation for USSPACECOM’s security cooperation efforts,” said BG Morehouse.
 
“We anticipate this successful collaboration with the National Guard will produce additional opportunities and we look forward to building relationships and capabilities with our partners and allies.”

USSPACECOM’s mission is to conduct operations in, from, and to space to deter conflict, and, if necessary, defeat aggression, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined Force and defend U.S. vital interests with allies and partners.