20th SPCS serves as example for Japanese SSA development

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office visit the 20th Space Control Squadron, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The three visitors including Lt. Col. Darrell Myers (left), Air Force branch chief for international engagement, were educated on the utilization of equipment and weapons systems used by the 20th SPCS. (Courtesy photo)

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office visit the 20th Space Control Squadron, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The three visitors including Lt. Col. Darrell Myers (left), Air Force branch chief for international engagement, were educated on the utilization of equipment and weapons systems used by the 20th SPCS. (Courtesy photo)

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office visit the 20th Space Control Squadron, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The members went to the 20th SPCS as part of an effort to encourage Japan's development of its space situational awareness mission area and dedicated space surveillance squadron. (Courtesy photo)

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office visit the 20th Space Control Squadron, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The members went to the 20th SPCS as part of an effort to encourage Japan's development of its space situational awareness mission area and dedicated space surveillance squadron. (Courtesy photo)

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office meet with Lt. Col. Raj Agrawal (right), 20th Space Control Squadron commander, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The three visitors including Lt. Col. Darrell Myers (left), Air Force branch chief for international engagement, learned about the phased array radar for the Space Mission Task Force construct, integration of intelligence and various other space surveillance capabilities. (Courtesy photo)

Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office meet with Lt. Col. Raj Agrawal (right), 20th Space Control Squadron commander, Oct. 4, 2017, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The three visitors including Lt. Col. Darrell Myers (left), Air Force branch chief for international engagement, learned about the phased array radar for the Space Mission Task Force construct, integration of intelligence and various other space surveillance capabilities. (Courtesy photo)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida -- Three members of the Japanese Space Situational Awareness Policy office visited Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 4, 2017, as part of an effort to encourage Japan's development of its SSA mission area and dedicated space surveillance squadron.

The visitors, Maj. Yuta Onda and Maj. Kazuhiko Matsuo of the Japan Air Staff Defense Force and Shinji Fukui of the Japan Ministry of Defense, were accompanied by Lt. Col. Darrell Myers, Air Force branch chief for international engagement during the trip to view the 20th Space Control Squadron space surveillance capabilities.

The delegation, as well as an earlier one to the 20th SPCS Det. 3 location atop Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, came to gain an understanding about how the 20th SPCS does its job. The group was educated about how various equipment and weapons systems are utilized in fulfilling mission requirements.

The group further learned about the phased array radar for the Space Mission Task Force construct, integration of intelligence, mission planning and debriefing, space surveillance operations, how radar data is processed, number of personnel on the operations floor, different types of taskings received from 18th SPCS, and how personnel are trained for space operations.

The Japanese desire to model the 20th SPCS SMTF culture. Japan is making great strides in developing its own SSA capability and expressed a strong interest in using the 20th SPCS mode; to shape its culture and organization.

Air Force Space Directorate partnered with 21st Operations Group to arrange the delegation visits as part of the larger effort toward furthering the U.S.-Japan SSA partnership. International partnerships are crucial in deterring and mitigating threats in the space domain.

The 20th SPCS was chosen due its role leading the majority of U.S. space surveillance weapons system platforms, including the three Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance sensors, the world's most powerful phased array radar, as well as, the new Space Fence system.