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Space Force chief hails US-Australia collaboration

The head of the US Space Force hailed the importance of the US–Australia strategic partnership at an Air Force conference in Canberra last week.

Gen. Chance Saltzman, the organisation’s chief of space operations, used the example of the two countries' infantry fighting alongside each other during the Battle of Hamel in 1918 during World War I.

“This was the first time in history that U.S. Army troops were commanded operationally by non-American officers,” said Saltzman.

“And by the end of the war, [General John Monash] said, ‘success is not measured by how high you climb, but by how many people you bring with you.’

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“I can’t think of a better vision of allies and partners than this, especially in this era of Great Power Competition.”

Gen. Saltzman was speaking at the RAAF’s 2024 Air and Space Power Conference, where he discussed the strengthening ties between the two nations and the evolution of the space sector.

“Today, the space domain is radically different than when I started flying satellites decades ago,” Saltzman said.

“And honestly, it’s radically different than even just four years ago when the U.S. Space Force was established … It has become congested because of more launches, more satellites, more debris, and more players in the space domain.”

He added that China’s recent space developments have created unacceptable risks, leading to a rise in competition and orbital congestion.

“Now more than ever, joint and coalition force operations depend on space capabilities and protection from space-enabled attacks – our space forces are an integral part of the joint coalition team.”

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Gen. Saltzman's trip came before the Under Secretary of the US Air Force headlines Space Connect’s Australian Space Summit and Exhibition later this month.

Kristyn E. Jones is one of the most senior figures involved in the US Space Force and oversees the entire US Air Force’s annual budget of more than $205 billion.

As part of her role, she also directs the US Air Force’s strategy and policy development, weapons acquisition and technology investments while being the principal adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall.

Our event takes place on the 28 and 29 May at the ICC in Sydney. To find out more and book tickets, click here.

Jones joins our lineup of headliners, including Virgin Galactic, the commander overseeing the US Space Force’s Indo-Pacific team, the new head of Australia’s Space Command, and the head of the Australian Space Agency.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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