US, France Expand Space Data Sharing

US Strategic Command and the French defense ministry strengthened an existing agreement for the sharing of space situational awareness data, announced the command on Monday. The two organizations commemorated the signing of the new arrangement on April 14 in Colorado Springs, Colo. It builds upon the initial sharing agreement of January 2014 by permitting “an advanced exchange of SSA data, which is essential for spaceflight safety and may include classified information, when appropriate,” states STRATCOM’s release. “We are pleased to expand our space partnership with France, one of our oldest and closest allies,” said STRATCOM Commander Adm. Cecil Haney. “These agreements are mutually beneficial, enabling greater spaceflight safety, increasing our national security and that of our allies, and enhancing our 24/7 global operations,” he said. During his tenure at STRATCOM’s helm, Haney has warned of the vulnerability of US space assets and the need to enhance SSA capabilities. STRATCOM has agreements in place for sharing space information with US allies and partners, including Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.