The Australian Defence Force has announced it will establish a dedicated Space Division in 2022 to develop and manage the ADF’s emerging space capabilities.
The roles of the Space Division will be informed by a Space Domain Review currently being conducted by Chief of Air Force, AIRMSHL Mel Hupfeld, and the new entity will be headed up by current Air Force head of Capability, AVM Cath Roberts.
“We use Space daily for understanding the weather, navigating, access to geospatial information and sharing information across Australia or across the world,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said in a May 19 release. “Defence is delivering capabilities including Space domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communications and Space-based Earth observation, and navigation.
“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,” he added. “Defence will need capabilities that directly contribute to outcomes in Space as a contested domain, however this does not mean that Defence encourages the militarisation of Space. All Space operations are conducted consistent with international and domestic legal obligations.
“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,” he said.
A self-confessed sci-fi junkie, AVM Roberts said she is looking forward to taking on the role. “To reach for the stars and actually get there is a phenomenal feeling,” she said. “As an aero-space engineer I have always been fascinated by space – the ultimate high-ground.”