Eight European NATO countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK) participated in the Schriever Wargame 2012 at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in the Unites States for the first time this April. Canada and Australia also participated.
The Space Innovation and Development Center conducted the war game, which focused on space and cyber defence issues, on behalf of US Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs. The war game scenario depicted a NATO multinational task force conducting counter piracy operations around the Horn of Africa.
“The Schriever Wargame, set in the year 2023, will explore critical space issues and investigate the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services,” according to an advance press release from US Air Force Space Command.
“This is a significant development in what was predominately a US event and reflects the need to cooperate and share information to develop future capabilities that benefit NATO collectively. The US has been encouraging its European allies to invest more in these capabilities, and allowing them to participate in the Schriever Wargame provides an opportunity to work together on space-based systems that will be increasingly important to future operations,” a NATO official told Defense News
“NATO nations and Australia provided capabilities to boost space situational awareness, improve Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts, enhance environmental monitoring, and increase communications bandwidth,” said Brigadier General Greaves, Director of Plans, Programs and Analyses, Air Force Space Command Colorado.
There is no information available about Schriever Wargame 2012 on the NATO website and the war game results are apparently classified. However, according to Satnews Daily
, an unclassified final report will be available later this year and the unclassified NATO report will be made available once cleared for public release.
The United States wants more global cooperation in space including joint war games and combined operations with allies, and is pushing for data-sharing deals with France, Japan and other countries, a US defense official told Reuters
Until recently, the US has operated largely on its own in space, but the growing number of countries with satellite and space capabilities has changed that according to Greg Schulte, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. He said that the United States is now working with the European Union to modify its proposed global code of conduct for space to preserve Washington's ability to defend its satellites. More than 100 participants from 40 countries met in Vienna recently to begin negotiations on the code of conduct.
In January, the United States signed a long-term partnership agreement with Canada that will give the United States access to data from a new space surveillance system Canada is building to track objects in deep space. In return, the United States will share its surveillance data with Canada, which, along with Australia, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand have invested in the new Wideband Global System satellites built by Boeing Co and operated by the US Air Force.
Cooperation was critical given actions by China, Russia, and Iran to develop weapons that could target Western satellites, Schulte said. In a recent speech, he observed that Russia has talked about deploying anti-satellite weapons, Iran and Syria have jammed commercial communications satellites and North Korea recently jammed signals from satellites.