14th Air Force and JFCC Space Host Japanese Officials
By Capt. Nicholas Mercurio, 14th Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published October 16, 2014
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Fourteenth Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, hosted two Japanese officials, here, Oct. 12 through 14, in a visit further strengthening existing partnerships in space operations.
Retired Gen. Dr. Haruhiko Kataoka, Japanese National Security Secretariat Advisor and former Chief of Staff, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Maj. Gen. Jun Nagashima, Deputy Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary, National Security Secretariat, were hosted by the 14th AF (Air Forces Strategic) and JFCC Space Commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond.
"We are very grateful for our enduring partnership with Japan, and look forward to opportunities such as these to expand and refine our cooperation," said Raymond.
In addition to meeting with senior leadership, the Japanese officials toured the Joint Space Operations Center. The JSpOC is a synergistic command and control system which provides a focal point for the operational employment of worldwide joint space forces.
The JSpOC has five mission areas: launch and reentry, Space Situational Awareness of objects, SSA of signals on the electromagnetic spectrum, joint force support and contingency operations. Currently, the JSpOC tracks approximately 17,000 objects orbiting the earth and lists them on space-track.org.
"We are conducting SSA and sharing information broadly to keep the space domain safe for all to use," said Raymond. "Sensors tasked by the JSpOC make upwards of 400,000 observations daily to monitor those objects."
Under an SSA-sharing agreement, the JSpOC coordinates on a regular basis with Japanese space entities and maintains a robust relationship with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, providing launch and reentry data as well as SSA metrics. The JSpOC, through the same SSA-sharing agreement with Japan, is able to incorporate data from Japanese-operated sensors, thereby increasing overall space domain awareness.
"Space is becoming increasingly congested and contested," said Raymond. "It is no longer the sanctuary it was 20 years ago. Today, the average American is very reliant on the capabilities provided from space. The same holds true in Japan. All nations benefit from a safe, stable, sustainable and secure space domain. That is why we remain committed to the responsible use of space."