Australia’s Department of Defence will establish a Space Division headquarters within the Royal Australian Air Force in early 2022, with personnel from all areas within Defence reflecting the importance of the Space domain.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC, said assured access to Space was critical to enabling Defence’s multi-domain operations.
The Air Marshal said, “We use Space daily for understanding the weather, navigating, access to geospatial information and sharing information across Australia or across the world. Defence is delivering capabilities including Space domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communications and Space-based Earth observation, and navigation.
He continued, “The Government has committed to significantly increasing investment in Defence’s Space capabilities by investing around $7 billion this decade to ensure our access to Space, Space services and geospatial information. Defence will need capabilities that directly contribute to outcomes in Space as a contested domain, however this does not mean that Defence encourages the militarization of Space. All Space operations are conducted consistent with international and domestic legal obligations.”
As the Defence Space Domain lead, Air Marshal Hupfeld is conducting a Space Domain Review to improve how Space capabilities are managed, acquired and operated.
“I congratulate Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts selected as the inaugural Head of Defence Space Division – there is no person better suited for the job,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
Air Vice-Marshal Roberts said the position was a dream come true, stating, “To reach for the stars and actually get there is a phenomenal feeling. As an aerospace engineer, I have always been fascinated by space – the ultimate high-ground.”