Portrait of General Michel Friedling
13 February 2020

France fully embraces the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative

Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, asked Air Major General Michel Friedling to sign the letter of adherence to the Combined Space Operations (CSpO) initiative. In doing so, France fully subscribes to this space cooperation initiative, which aims to coordinate the efforts of the seven participating nations in the field of space defence.
At the meeting of national representatives of the CSpO initiative held on 11 and 12 February 2020 in Ottawa (Canada), Air Major General Michel Friedling, chief of Space Command, signed the letter of adherence to its Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Minister for the Armed Forces.

France’s participation in this initiative forms part of its space strategy set out by the President of the Republic and presented by the Minister for the Armed Forces on 25 July 2019.

CSpO’s mission is to coordinate the efforts made by each participating nation in the field of space defence. It also seeks to enhance space capabilities, whether national or collective, and to facilitate the joint space operations carried out by the participating nations.

The challenge lies in being able to coordinate allied capabilities, to increase their resilience so as to ensure support for multi-domain operations, guarantee unimpeded access to space and protect the assets in it, working where necessary in coalition.

As a multilateral forum for coordination, reflection and exchange, CSpO provides an opportunity to achieve these different objectives. Work is regularly carried out by a number of working groups involving staff from France’s Air Force Space Command (CDE), Armament Procurement Agency (DGA) and Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS).

This initiative initially involved the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. France and Germany joined as observers in 2016 and then as associate members in 2017. Following a decision by Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, France will now participate fully in the initiative, bringing the number of participating nations to seven.