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Establishment of 7 Wing (Space)’s Commercial Integration Cell

Colonel Catherine Marchetti, Commander of 7 Wing (Space) and Director of the Canadian Space Operations Centre, alongside industry partners, announced the establishment of the Canadian Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) at 7 Wing (Space). Industry partners Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer at MDA Space, and Michèle Beck, Senior Vice President, Canadian Sales at Telesat, were present at the announcement, which took place at this year’s CANSEC Defence Trade Show in Ottawa.

The CIC is a new information-sharing structure focused on space operations established between the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and industry partners to enable discussions and data-sharing at the appropriate security level. This new structure will formalize the process of communicating timely and relevant information, leveraging the capability to protect Canada’s interests in space. The cell will focus on space systems currently supporting CAF operations and potential threats against those space systems.

Initially, the CIC will be comprised of subject matter experts from MDA Space and Telesat. These members will provide direct liaison between the Canadian Space Operations Centre at 7 Wing (Space) and their companies, enhancing real-time information sharing of indications and warnings of critical space incidents.

This initiative will improve the ability of the CAF and industry to respond to critical events by enabling the flow of information between military and commercial partners, increasing space domain awareness and protecting Canadian interests and assets in the space domain.

The establishment of the CIC is in line with Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, which mandates the CAF to defend and protect military space capabilities, which includes working closely with partners to ensure a coordinated approach to assuring access to space and space capabilities.

“We’ve witnessed over the years an increase in adversarial capability development and activity in the space domain, signaling the need for enhanced resiliency of the space-based assets upon which we rely. The establishment of the Canadian Commercial Integration Cell at 7 Wing (Space) is another step forward in operationalizing our relationship with commercial partners that provide critical data and services to our military operations and enhancing resiliency of Canadian space-based assets in the face of increased threat in the space domain.”

Colonel Catherine Marchetti, 7 Wing (Space) Commander

“As a longstanding mission partner to the Department of National Defence and allied nations, MDA Space commends the Government of Canada for taking this important step to create the Commercial Integration Cell to facilitate real-time collaboration of space-based based mission operations. In a rapidly changing space environment, the Canadian Commercial Integration Cell will provide a critical hub for operational information-sharing between government and the commercial space industry at a speed and level that the emerging space domain demands.” 

Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer, MDA Space

“We applaud the government’s creation of the Canadian Commercial Integration Cell, which underscores the importance of collaboration between government and commercial partners for real-time, informed responses to space events to improve space domain awareness and response options. The CIC will result in better decision making, improved Department of National Defence and commercial crisis preparedness, and increased overall resilience of Canadian space operations.”

Michèle Beck, Senior Vice President, Canadian Sales, Telesat

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • The Department of National Defence and the CAF currently contracts MDA Space and Telesat to provide space communications and space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to bolster the CAF’s existing space capabilities and improve our space domain awareness.
  • There is no cost associated with the establishment of the CIC. Rather, the commercial subject matter experts within the CIC have been granted the appropriate security clearances required to facilitate appropriate information-sharing that will improve space domain awareness and increase the protection of Canadian assets in the space domain.
  • The CIC will initially be staffed with one operator from each MDA Space and Telesat, with an intent to grow the CIC to include more representatives from Canada’s space industry.
  • Strong cooperation with partners in the space domain is essential to enhancing the resilience of our space systems.Commercial partnerships play a vital role in developing new space-based technologies and providing services and capabilities that are critical to conducting military operations. The exchange of information between partners optimizes collective self-defence.
  • 7 Wing (Space) is comprised of a Headquarters, an Operations Squadron, and Operations Support Squadron, which work to integrate and assure space-enabled effects in all Canadian Armed Forces operations, driving pan-domain outcomes.
  • 7 Wing (Space) is part of 3 Canadian Space Division, which is responsible for delivering space power effects in support of Canadian Armed Forces Operations, and is responsible for space domain awareness, space-based operational support, and defending and protecting military space capabilities.

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