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Air Force launches Space Operations Squadron

Defense 18:03 December 01, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Air Force launched an integrated unit for space operations in a city just south of Seoul on Thursday, as the country seeks to bolster defense capabilities in the increasingly crucial security domain.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Jung Sang-hwa hosted a ceremony to mark the launch of the Space Operations Squadron at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 65 kilometers south of Seoul. Maj. Kim Jong-ha has been appointed to lead the squadron.

"The creation of the squadron symbolizes the strong will of the Air Force focusing on strengthening space operations capabilities," Kim said. "I will do my utmost to ensure that the squadron will be at the forefront of space operations."

The squadron is an organization born by integrating existing units, including the Space Operations Unit launched in 2019 to carry out various missions, such as the space debris fallout forecast.

Two other units -- the Space Intelligence Center under the Air Force's Space Center and the Satellite Control Center under the Air Intelligence Wing -- have also been integrated into the squadron.

The squadron now consists of five divisions, including the Space Operations Center, Space Surveillance Team and Satellite Control Team.

It plans to conduct various missions, such as monitoring space objects during peacetime and wartime, disseminating information on potential space threats and controlling military surveillance satellites that South Korea plans to deploy in the future, according to the Air Force.

The squadron will also seek to bolster space cooperation with the United States, officials said.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Jung Sang-hwa (L) hands the flag of the newly launched Space Operations Squadron to Maj. Kim Jong-ha, the head of the unit, during a launch ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 65 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 1, 2022 in this photo released by the Air Force. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Jung Sang-hwa (L) hands the flag of the newly launched Space Operations Squadron to Maj. Kim Jong-ha, the head of the unit, during a launch ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 65 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 1, 2022 in this photo released by the Air Force. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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