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.
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.
Based at RAF High Wycombe, 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. It brings together three functions under a single 2-Star military commander: space operations, space workforce generation and space capability.
“This Government’s determination to establish UK Space Command is a huge step forward because Space is fundamental to our national security and to our way of life. UK Space Command will protect and promote the United Kingdom's interests in space, working with like-minded allies around the world for the benefit of all.”
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff
Strategic Command leads on developing joint enabling capabilities across the land, sea, air, cyber and space domains. In the space domain these include Satellite Communications, Position, Navigation and Timing as well as Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance. As Defence’s integrator Strategic Command works closely with the Space Directorate in Head Office and Space Command in the RAF to ensure they can collectively deliver the capabilities Defence needs to operate and fight in the Information Age.
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.”
“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 Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth
Direction from the National Space Council will flow through the Space Directorate in MOD Head Office to Space Command and other relevant elements of Defence. It is envisaged that Space Command will interact with the UK Space Agency, as required, to deliver joint national space capability.
“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.”
Air Commodore Paul Godfrey