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Australian Government - Department of Defence

Defence announces Space Division

19 May 2021

Defence will establish a Space Division headquarters within the Royal Australian Air Force in early 2022, with personnel from all areas within Defence reflecting the importance of the Space domain.

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC, said assured access to Space was critical to enabling Defence's multi-domain operations.

"We use Space daily for understanding the weather, navigating, access to geospatial information and sharing information across Australia or across the world," Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

"Defence is delivering capabilities including Space domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communications and Space-based Earth observation, and navigation.

"The Government has committed to significantly increasing investment in Defence's Space capabilities by investing around $7 billion this decade to ensure our access to Space, Space services and geospatial information.

"Defence will need capabilities that directly contribute to outcomes in Space as a contested domain, however this does not mean that Defence encourages the militarisation of Space.

"All Space operations are conducted consistent with international and domestic legal obligations."

As the Defence Space Domain lead, Air Marshal Hupfeld is conducting a Space Domain Review to improve how Space capabilities are managed, acquired and operated.

"I congratulate Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts selected as the inaugural Head of Defence Space Division – there is no person better suited for the job," Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

Air Vice-Marshal Roberts said the position was a dream come true.

"To reach for the stars and actually get there is a phenomenal feeling," said Air Vice-Marshal Roberts.

"As an aero-space engineer I have always been fascinated by space – the ultimate high-ground."

Media note

Media can access Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts' biography at https://www.airforce.gov.au/our-people/our-leaders/head-air-force-capability.

Images of Air Vice-Marshal Roberts are available at the Defence Image Gallery at https://images.defence.gov.au/S20211594.

Media contacts

Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT
Email: media@defence.gov.au

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