The US Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) has conducted Space Flag’s first coalition exercise at Aerospace Corporation’s facility.

Space Flag 19-3 brought together coalition partners from Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US for the Space Flag mission planning exercise held between 12 and 16 August.

Space Flag focuses on mission planning at a tactical level in the space domain.

The exercise is designed to allow space operators to complete missions in a contested environment.

As part of the exercise, around 160 members participated in Air Force Space Command’s ‘Fight Tonight’ exercise.

Fight Tonight allows participants to simulate operations using current capabilities to ‘deter, deny and disrupt’ the actions of adversaries in space.

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USAF Vice Chief of Staff general Stephen Wilson said: “The threat in space is real and we must train like we fight, alongside our international partners, to maintain space superiority and deter conflict in the space domain.”

The exercise allowed personnel to exchange thoughts with and learn from coalition partners.

USAF 20th Space Control Squadron Intelligence Operations noncommissioned officer in charge technical sergeant Sean Johnson said: “The coalition forces brought a different perspective that forced everyone to think outside our typical way of doing things as we integrated intelligence in space packages throughout mission planning.”

AFSPC Operations and Communications director US Air Force brigadier general DeAnna Burt unveiled plans to integrate allied partners in future Space Flag exercises.

In April, AFSPC completed the sixth Space Flag 19-2 mission planning exercise.

Space Flag, which started in 2017, is intended to enhance the capabilities of troops in the space domain.

The exercise is designed on the lines of US Air Force Red Flag air combat training exercises.

Many countries are looking to achieve and maintain a strong presence in the space domain, including the US, China and Russia. France joined the list last month with the announcement of a space command.