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Space ops critical to air, ground, naval forces

5/3/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- With the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility spanning 6.5 million square miles and 27 countries, the high ground of space continues to be critical to coalition air, ground and naval forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Space Coordinating Authority, Combined Forces Air Component Commander Lt. Gen. Gary North, relies on Col. Cary Chun, the director of Space Forces, or DIRSPACEFOR, at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center to ensure theater commanders' space support needs are met whenever and wherever possible.

In April, DIRSPACEFOR officials report U.S. Air Force space professionals used space assets to fulfill 22 Space Support Requests, or SSRs, for Operation Enduring Freedom, delivering 246 separate and specific effects. Another 22 SSRs were serviced in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, delivering 217 separate and specific effects.

Effects included surveillance, tracking and targeting; position, navigation and timing; communications, weather and intelligence, and planning support.

Space forces continued to support Carrier Task Force-50 through space-based battlespace characterization in the North Arabian Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. Space forces also supported Carrier Strike Group-8 as it moved within the CENTCOM area of responsbility.

Additionally, the DIRSPACEFOR officials coordinated with the Army's Commercial Imagery Exploitation Team to provide imagery to International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, to support relief planning for heavy flooding north of Bagram Air Base.

DIRSPACEFOR officials also submitted new SSRs to the Joint Space Operations Center in support of on-going deployable Silent Sentry operations. These operations play a key defensive counterspace role for CENTCOM forces.

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