The U.S. Space Force hosted their first Space Engagement Talks with the Israeli Air Force during separate virtual sessions April 19-20 — these talks brought together two nations with a shared interest in ensuring access to and peaceful use of outer space.
“Dating back to 1948, America was the first country in the world to recognize modern Israel as a nation,” said Lt. Gen. William Liquori, deputy chief of space operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis. “Since then, our two countries have shared a mutual commitment to peace and security. As we have done for more than 70 years, we will continue to work together to meet the emerging challenges in the space domain.”
As one of only nine countries in the world to have indigenous launch capabilities, Israel is poised to collaborate with the U.S. on various projects. Possessing its own space program since 1981, Israel maintains close ties to the U.S. across all domains. The U.S. and Israeli space partnership further reinforces the already strong security relationship both nations share.
Department of the Air Force participants included members from the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration and the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate. The U.S. Space Force was represented by members from the Headquarters Space Force Staff at the Pentagon, Space Operations Command-West, and the Space and Missile Systems Center. U.S. Space Command, as well as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, also participated.
Discussions focused on future coordination, cooperation, and collaboration opportunities.
Highlights included a brief delivered Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Conley, deputy commander, Combined Force Space Component Command, U.S. Space Command, on the command’s mission and current operations, explaining how the organization provides tailorable and effective space effects in multiple areas of responsibility across multiple domains.
“The long and mutually beneficial relationship with Israel’s Space Program that began with U.S. Strategic Command continues today at U.S. Space Command,” said Scott VanSant, Space Situational Awareness data sharing program manager, USSPACECOM. “Since 2010, the DoD and Israel have partnered in the SSA Data Sharing Program. Now, with these Space Engagement Talks, we take the next step in this very capable security partnership.”
Additionally, Israel’s Space Program Executive Office, led by retired Brig. Gen. Amnon Harari, shared an overview of current satellite operations, citing how the long lifespans of their satellites enable the organization to remain an agile and efficient service.
The talks concluded with both countries agreeing to continue to engage and strengthen their partnership with follow-on, bilateral Space Engagement Talks.
“Israel is one of the U.S. Space Force’s strongest partners in the Middle East, and we look forward to increased collaboration with them in the space domain,” said Col. Carlos Pérez Méndez, director of global partnerships, Strategy, Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis Directorate, USSF.