The inaugural commander of the United Kingdom’s new Space Command has been announced as Air Commodore Paul Godfrey OBE who will be promoted to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal, say the Royal Air Force.
Space Command will be a Joint Command, staffed from all three Services of the Armed Forces, the Civil Service and key members of the commercial sector at RAF High Wycombe.
According to a news release:
“Air Commodore Godfrey joined the RAF in 1991 and has been a fighter pilot most of his career. A former Station Commander at RAF Lossiemouth, most recently he was responsible for the planning and employment of coalition air and space power across the Middle East within the US Air Force Combined Air and Space Operations Centre.”
General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander of Strategic Command said:
“The benefits we derive from Space are vital to our economy, our way of life and to our national security. In particular we rely on space for the military command and control systems, cyber capabilities, communications, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that Strategic Command provides with our partners to defend the UK and our allies. I look forward to Strategic Command, working very closely with the new Space Command to deliver the integration of these capabilities to our Armed Forces as they operate in the air, on the land, at sea and in cyberspace.”
Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, Director Space, said:
“Space, and our assured access to it, is fundamental to military operations. Loss of, or disruption to, the Space Domain, will impact our ability to undertake the majority of Defence Tasks, and has the potential for significant effect on civilian, commercial and economic activity. The threat from adversaries in this rapidly maturing domain is real and it is here now. If we fail to understand how to operate successfully in the Space Domain through integrated operations, we lose our battle-winning edge. The establishment of a UK Space Command for Defence is a crucial step in our development, and will underpin our ability to understand and operate in Space.”
Air Commodore Paul Godfrey said:
“I am incredibly honoured to be selected to lead the new joint Space Command. Having just returned from a role embedded with the United States military, where I was privileged to be able to plan and direct air and space power in support of coalition operations, I have seen first-hand how critical the Space domain is and how it underpins not only military operations, but broader every day activities. As it becomes ever more congested and contested, it is critical that the UK is integrated in its approach to Space and the formation of this Command will provide a key focal point for this complex operating environment.”