A new space-focused division has entered the fold of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
The 3 Canadian Space Division will improve how space-based capabilities support critical Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) requirements such as communications, command and control, navigation, and situational awareness.
A ceremony was held on Friday, July 22, 2022, in Ottawa to mark the establishment of the new Division. It was attended by LGen. Al Meinzinger, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and BGen. Mike Adamson, Commander of 3 Canadian Space Division.
“The space domain is of critical importance, now more than ever, when considering its role in guiding military operations and enabling a vast range of day-to-day activities for Canadians. The establishment of 3 Canadian Space Division enables the Royal Canadian Air Force to ensure we have the right organizational structure to continually deliver spaced-based effects across the CAF, while also ensuring we are aligned with our allies who have established similar Space Commands,” said Meinzinger.
The RCAF’s Newest Division
The 3 Canadian Space Division, which evolved from the RCAF’s Director General Space organization, was established by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after recognizing that space operations have steadily grown over the last decade. According to the military, the new division will protect Canadian interests in space.
“Space-based capabilities are vital to modern military operations and as such, space must be integrated across the Canadian Armed Forces and steeped in our operational planning. The establishment of 3 Canadian Space Division marks another step forward in growing the space expertise and capabilities we depend on to successfully and effectively conduct operations,” said Gen. Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff.
According to the Department of National Defence (DND), the new division will employ approximately 175 military and civilian personnel once it reaches its full capacity. This is an overall increase of 85 positions from the Director General Space.
The establishment of this division will also include the re-establishment of 7 Wing, which will comprise 7 Space Operations Squadron and 7 Operations Support Squadron. The Wing will provide space-based data and capabilities in support of CAF operations.
“It is with great pride and humility that I command 3 Canadian Space Division on behalf of the many dedicated women and men who have long recognized the importance of the space domain to military operations. This is a team that works with endless commitment and enthusiasm to support the Canadian Armed Forces. I know these dedicated space specialists will continue to blaze trails, now and into the future,” said BGen. Mike Adamson, Commander, 3 Canadian Space Division.
Supporting International Allies
The CAF’s space-based capabilities support international allies by supporting NATO operations and supporting decision-making in overseas operations.
Additionally, according to DND, Canada’s commitment to the Combined Space Operations Initiative will continue to be a priority for 3 Canadian Space Division. This agreement includes Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, plus provides opportunities to enhance cooperation on defence space activities.
“As the international security environment becomes increasingly complex, space is a critical domain for our national security. The establishment of 3 Canadian Space Division marks an important step forward in our work to build a cutting-edge, innovative military that can anticipate and act in response to tomorrow’s threats. We salute the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force for their continued excellence within the space domain,” said Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence.