VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. –
More than 150 participants from 25 countries participated in the Global Sentinel Capstone event at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., July 25 to Aug. 3, 2022. Playing a major role in the overall effectiveness of this year’s capstone event were the mentors.
Global Sentinel, which began in 2014, is U.S. Space Command’s single largest multinational event to strengthen partnerships with other space-faring nations to promote cooperation and safe, secure space operations.
During the event, each participating nation maintained a Space Operations Center. The nations also organized into eight Regional SpOCs, with a mentor assigned to each region.
“This year our mentors captured collaborating efforts, identified processes, data sharing methods, strengths and weaknesses from all partner nations and allies,” said U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Erick Fonseca, Global Sentinel mentor lead, “The mentors also assisted Global Sentinel participants during scenarios and injects, ultimately strengthening the communication flow and relationships.”
Mentors consisted of enlisted, officers and civilians. They were selected based on their subject matter expertise, foreign language capability, skills and knowledge of geographic regions.
“The lowest-ranking mentor, Senior Airman Dhruva Poluru, from the National Guard’s 222nd Command and Control Squadron, happened to be an expert on the Systems Tool Kit application,” said U.S. Space Force Capt. Bryan Davis, Global Sentinel coordinator. “We paired him with Portugal, which had not used STK before.”
While the mentor program was designed to aid partner nations, in some cases the exchange of information was reciprocal.
“I feel privileged to have been able to work with Spain and Peru during Global Sentinel 22,” said Flight Lt. Robert Michie, a Royal Air Force exchange officer and Global Sentinel 22 mentor. “Being able to work with a new Global Sentinel partner and a legacy partner at the same time reaffirmed the importance of the work we do here. The knowledge and expertise shared here are vital to ongoing cooperation in space. But equally important are the relationships that events like this allow us to create.”
Global Sentinel scenarios, along with the mentors, provided opportunities for each of the nations to build partnerships. This was especially helpful for first-time participants, like Peru.
“Global Sentinel 22 represented our first space exercise,” said Fidel Castro Herrera, a Peruvian Air Force pilot and Global Sentinel 22 participant mentored by Michie. “We are now implementing our space capabilities in the Peruvian Air Force, and GS22 gave us a unique opportunity to learn and collect several experiences in order to give the best advice to our senior leaders. GS22 showed us how essential it is to work in partnership with other countries to develop a responsible behavior in space and to counter common threats.”