Joint Air Power Competence Centre’s journey to Space began at its establishment in 2005 with the recognition that Space is a critical domain, enabling the application of military power across all domains. The 2008 whitepaper ‘NATO Space Operations Assessment’ was the first major JAPCC publication on NATO’s challenges in Space. Since then, our centre has remained NATO’s catalyst for the improvement and transformation of Joint Air and Space Power, which has evolved dynamically and rapidly over the years. NATO’s recognition of these developments culminated with the declaration of Space as the 5th operational domain in 2019, alongside air, land, maritime, and cyberspace, and the adoption of the first Space Policy in 2022.
To contribute to JAPCC’s mission of providing key decision-makers effective solutions to Space Power challenges, JAPCC’s Programme of Work includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
As an active contributor to the NATO Bi-Strategic Commands Space Working Group, since its establishment in 2012, JAPCC provides advice and guidance to this community which is the main focal point for Space-related activities within NATO.
JAPCC provides Space lectures and presentations, and addresses all Space-related Requests for Information. Our JAPCC Space SMEs take an active role as part of the NATO Space Team and the JAPCC OPFOR Team during most high-level NATO exercises.
As the Department Head for Space for the last six years, JAPCC became the coordinating body of the Global Programming Process to pursue the best available Education and Training (E&T) opportunities. In this role, JAPCC led the Annual Discipline Conference, drafted the corresponding Discipline Alignment Plan, supported the revision of the Space Basic Course and the creation of the Space Support Coordinator Course at NATO School Oberammergau, and provided Space educational support.
As part of their engagement activities, JAPCC Space SMEs cooperate with a variety of NATO organizations and agencies from the NATO Command Structure to the NATO Force Structure, EU, nations, and other institutes (e.g. they participate in several Space-related NATO Science and Technology Organization studies). In 2021, the discipline’s name changed from ‘Space support in operations’ to simply ‘Space’, thus becoming one of the 28 E&T disciplines included in the Bi-SC Comprehensive List of Disciplines. Moreover, a French proposal to act as a Framework Nation for a NATO Space COE was accepted by NATO. Following this development, the Department Head duties will progressively be transferred from the JAPCC to the NATO Space COE, while SHAPE will remain the Requirement Authority for Space. In accordance with the accreditation process, this transition will occur at the end of 2022.
The establishment of the NATO Space COE in Toulouse does not suggest that the JAPCC will abandon its vital role in providing Space expertise. The responsibility of the new NATO Space COE will be the overall integration of Space in all warfighting domains, the so-called ‘Joint Space’, whereas the JAPCC will focus on Space’s role in Air Power.
As the reliance on the Space domain grows steadily, it is paramount that Space remains part of JAPCC’s portfolio, thus recognizing the strong relationship and interdependence between the
Air and Space domains.