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The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, SMC Officials meet to discuss space cooperation

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force Program executive officer for Space, and Deanna Ryals, Chief Partnership Officer, meet with Vice Admiral Aire de Waard, the Netherlands director of Defence Material Organization, and Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, before the start of an international partnership meeting at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021. The U.S. government is looking to broaden collaboration and partnerships with the Netherlands in several military space mission areas growing from our strong collaboration in MILSATCOM and responsive space capabilities. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force Program executive officer for Space, and Deanna Ryals, SMC Chief Partnership Officer, meet with Vice Admiral Aire de Waard, the Netherlands director of Defence Material Organization, and Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, before the start of an international partnership meeting at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021. The U.S. government is looking to broaden collaboration and partnerships with the Netherlands in several military space mission areas growing from our strong collaboration in MILSATCOM and responsive space capabilities. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Department of the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, left, and attendees of an international partnership meeting discuss current and future military space efforts at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021. The U.S. Space Force recognizes the potential for cooperative agreements, joint capability development, and increased Dutch contribution to the NATO Alliance as an area favorable for engagement by U.S. and other allied stakeholders who seek to ensure space superiority. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Department of the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, left, and attendees of an international partnership meeting discuss current and future military space efforts at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021. The U.S. Space Force recognizes the potential for cooperative agreements, joint capability development, and increased Dutch contribution to the NATO Alliance as an area favorable for engagement by U.S. and other allied stakeholders who seek to ensure space superiority. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

Vice Admiral Aire de Waard, the Netherlands director of Defence Material Command Organization, Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Department of the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, and Deanna Ryals, Chief Partnership Officer, stand in front of the Schriever statue at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021, demonstrating a global partnership between their respective nations. Leaders from the Dutch Ministry of Defence visited SMC to discuss the potential for joint capability development, cooperative agreements, and the need to adapt capabilities for current and future space threats. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

Vice Admiral Aire de Waard, the Netherlands director of Defence Material Command Organization, Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Department of the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, and Deanna Ryals, SMC Chief Partnership Officer, stand in front of the Schriever statue at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, July 8, 2021, demonstrating a global partnership between their respective nations. Leaders from the Dutch Ministry of Defence visited SMC to discuss the potential for joint capability development, cooperative agreements, and the need to adapt capabilities for current and future space threats. (U.S. Space Force photo by Van Ha)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, SMC Commander, met today with Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and other members of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence to discuss U.S. and Dutch space cooperation opportunities.

“Strong international partnerships are key to maintaining peace in the global commons of space and adapting to the fast-changing threats we face,” Thompson said. “SMC is excited to build on our great partnership with the Dutch, and for our future efforts together in space.”

The United States is looking to broaden collaboration and partnerships with the Netherlands in several military space mission areas, growing from their existing collaboration in MILSATCOM. The Dutch are users of Wideband Global SATCOM and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite systems and are stakeholders in the Evolved Strategic SATCOM and Protected Anti-Jam Satellite systems.

Space Domain Awareness is a priority for both nations, particularly for military operations. Other space priorities discussed included space research, Earth observation capabilities, satellite production, launch capabilities, SATCOM and data sharing throughout the coalition. The Dutch military plans to work with the European Union and NATO partners on Space Domain Awareness and has commissioned a center of knowledge on space.

Thompson explained how Space Systems Command will be stood up this summer as part of the U.S. Space Force, and how SMC is leveraging agile, innovative and creative approaches and new authorities to improve space acquisition.

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with SMC and discuss these important issues,” Luyt said. “We had a very fruitful discussion and are eager to expand our space capabilities through our combined partnership with the U.S. and our NATO Allies.”

Thompson also congratulated the Dutch delegation on last week’s successful BRIK-II satellite launch aboard Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket. The 6U CubeSat was the Netherlands Ministry of Defence’s first-ever satellite and is a testbed for various communications experiments that demonstrate the contribution of nanosatellites to military operations.

Thompson thanked the delegates for their time and commitment to discussing ways to broaden the two nations’ collaboration on military space mission areas, to better secure a safer future for all.