Space Force Makes Its Premier Exercise an International Affair

Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are sending military members to join in the U.S. Space Force’s newly expanded Space Flag exercise next month.

Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) confirmed the roster of international coalition partners joining Space Flag 23-1 in December. 

Space Flag exercises started in 2017 before the Space Force was established. Air Force Space Command led the original exercises, which USSF describes as “the tactical-focused exercise for space warfighters.”

Space Flag was accredited as a Joint National Training Capability this year, a prerequisite to inviting other U.S. military services to join. Space Flag events began incorporating more cyber and intelligence personnel this year, as well, STARCOM’s commander, Space Force Maj. Gen. Shawn N. Bratton, said in September.

Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. were the first international partners to join the Combined Space Operations Initiative for national security, and are among seven nations that jointly published the “Combined Space Operations Vision 2031” earlier this year. The vision establishes a shared set of principles and objectives.

In addition to Space Flag, STARCOM is also beginning to stage a new series of exercises, known as the Skies Series. Black Skies, a live-fire electronic warfare exercise, took place in September. A new Red Skies exercise will focus on orbital warfare, and a Blue Skies series will eventually focus on cyber.