At Kalkar-Uedem in the Lower Rhine region, the newly established Aerospace Command began operations on Tuesday, July 13. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said at the inauguration that it was a “historic military step towards the future of the Bundeswehr”. Kramp-Karrenbauer added that Germany is a highly industrialized and export-oriented country, “so our prosperity and security largely depend on space.”

She stressed that the German army’s activities in space were defensive and aimed at “ensuring the peaceful use of outer space.” The minister pointed out the great importance of satellite technologies in the field of navigation, communications and reconnaissance. She said the new command aims to fend off attacks, as well as keep the German government and the Bundeswehr fully informed of what is happening in space. – The head of the Ministry of Defense said that satellites are a resource without which it cannot function.

Cooperation within NATO

The new leadership brings together the various areas that have so far dealt with space issues within the Bundeswehr. Initially, it will employ 80 people, after which the number of offices will be increased to 250. International cooperation within NATO is also planned.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (left) during the inauguration

The term “space command” can evoke strange associations among ordinary people — “a little science fiction, a little cinema,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. The truth is not exceptional, but it is absolutely wonderful.

The defense minister stressed the defensive nature of the German intervention, but also noted that other countries have long proven capable of “acting aggressively in outer space.” Outer space is “a public good that must be accessible to all and therefore requires certain rules”. She pointed out that this space is no longer the “exclusive domain of space nations.”

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Armed Forces reform

The appointment of a new leadership is part of the structural reform of the Bundeswehr. In the document on the future of the Bundeswehr presented by the Army Command in May, we read: “We are strengthening the air and space dimensions by creating the German Aerospace Command, for which the Air Force is responsible. It will be planned and operated in Kalkar from all dimensions, in particular in close cooperation With cyberspace and information command.

(AFP/DOM)