Royal Canadian Air Force Announces New Cell at 7 Wing (Space)

Canadian space interests will reach a new frontier thanks to the planned establishment of a new Canadian Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) at 7 Wing (Space).

The Department of National Defence describes the CIC Centre as an “information sharing structure focused on space operations.”

“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,” said Col. Catherine Marchetti, Commander 7 Wing Space.

The CIC falls under the mandate of the new defence policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy.

At CANSEC Colonel Catherine Marchetti, Commander of 7 Wing (Space), middle, Telesat’s Michèle Beck, right, and MDA Space CEO Mike Greenley, left, announced the establishment of the Canadian Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) at 7 Wing (Space). Image courtesy of Telsat X.

About the CIC

CIC’s mandate of information sharing will allow the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to take part in discussions and data-sharing within the organization at an appropriate security level.

The Department of National Defence (DND) says this will allow the military to communicate timely while guarding its interests in space. It will, additionally, focus on space systems and threats to those systems.

The CIC will be staffed by subject matter experts from MDA Space and Telesat. The experts will help to communicate between the Canadian Space Operations Centre at 7 Wing (Space) and the respective companies.

DND stresses there will be no cost associated with establishing the CIC because the subject matter experts already reside within the institution and have thus been granted appropriate security clearances.

“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,” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer, MDA Space.

The hope is that the CIC can grow to include more space industry representatives.

7 Wing (Space) is currently based out of 3 Canadian Space Division, which is responsible for providing space capabilities to the Canadian Armed Forces. Left 3 Canadian Space Division badge, right 7 Wing (Space) badge. 

7 Wing

According to DND, 7 Wing (Space) is currently based out of 3 Canadian Space Division, which is responsible for providing space capabilities to the CAF.

The Wing, specifically, is comprised of headquarters, operations squadron, and operations support squadron,

These three departments work to “integrate and assure space-enabled effects in all Canadian Armed Forces operations, driving pan-domain outcomes.”

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Commander Lieutenant-General (LGen) Eric Kenny and RCAF Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) John Hall visited members of 3 Canadian Space Division (3 CSD), 7 Wing (7 Wg Space) during a town hall at Department of National Defence – Star Top, Ottawa, ON, 01 Mar 24. Photo by: Corporal Doug Burke, D Air PA, Royal Canadian Air Force Public Affairs.

Announcement Ceremony

To announce the new CIC, a ceremony was held at the CANSEC Defence Trade Show on May 30, 2024. The ceremony was attended by Col. Marchetti and other industry partners, such as Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer at MDA Space, and Michèle Beck, Senior Vice President, Canadian Sales at Telesat.

“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,” said Beck, Vice President of Canadian Sales, Telesat.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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