Military Space Ops

I'm sure there's loads of people working for UK satellite companies who'd love the chance to use their transferable skills as an SAC in the reserves. You know, just like the cyber reserves have done
Somewhat limited pool and you don't want half of 'em. The brainiacs wouldn't generally be interested either, they do a lot of mil stuff as part of their day job and that's close enough.
 
Perhaps; although employment in a satellite company does not necessarily mean an individual has the skills required, assuming he's even a UK national. Moreover, the locations, commitment, package and the cost to the service (in terms of security clearances, parenting and liabilities) quickly tends to mean that the gene pool shrinks further.

The RAF has had more success recruiting and retaining Reserves than the other 2 services but they're not the quick-win many politicians believe.



Which are already pinch-point specialisations for all 3 services!

Regards,
MM
You're limiting your basing to a diagonal line from Stevenage through the M3/M4 corridor down to Portsmouth. A lot are already cleared, if they're doing Skynet and other stuff but there'd have to be something particularly attractive to get interest.
 
You're limiting your basing to a diagonal line from Stevenage through the M3/M4 corridor down to Portsmouth. A lot are already cleared, if they're doing Skynet and other stuff but there'd have to be something particularly attractive to get interest.
Fair point on the clearances.

As you alluded to earlier however, reservists' are not some sort of free workforce. We can have dozens of applicants but we have to find the liabilities and funding for them in a Service which, like the RN, has been trying to absorb several new and important capabilities since 2015 with virtually no manpower uplift.

In reality, the RAF have been the lead-service for Space for over 50 years due to Fylingdales, Oakhanger, Skynet, Carbonite and a variety of other capabilities. There's a well established Space cadre within the Air Battle Manager/TG12 and Eng(CIS)/TG4 branch and trades. However, it's highly specialised and realising our ambitions will be challenging. Reservists have their place in this area but no-one has a magic wand.

Regards,
MM
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm sure there's loads of people working for UK satellite companies who'd love the chance to use their transferable skills as an SAC in the reserves. You know, just like the cyber reserves have done
Into what jobs and why?

With cyber we largely understood the delta between what we could do and what we wanted to be able to do. With space it's a far larger, spread across the Joint Component and all three Services, give the utility of space as a joint domain - it's not just the logical extension of air....

We used to have a reasonable amount of Defence SQEP in space, primarily through satellite operations, 1001 SU as was, which was an RAF unit with Naval (and I believe - Army personnel attached), which allowed us to develop people in space operations, ground operations, telemetry and control, and support. With the advent of a PFI approach that was largely lost as the MoD took more manpower savings which removed the embedded personnel back from the supplier side. A lesson identified, not learnt. Fast forward some years and we want to have more space SQEP as it is an increasingly important domain but in the same way as cyber it will be incredibly difficult to keep someone in a "space" career pipeline except with the exception of the RAF who can follow the ABM route which provides Space Situational Awareness and Missile Warning.

Of course there are more space capabilities (PNT, ISR etc.) but I'd argue they're largely joint enablers and perhaps should be delivered by/for the Joint Community. but how......

Using Reservists or Academia or Industry is something to look at, or maybe sponsored reserves? I just think if we do this we need to be very clear that there is unlikely to be a significant "space" career, but it could enrich a broader career.

Sometimes our small size helps, other times it hinders. the USAF with 38k attributed to space operations and support has made it work, we're not in the same game.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
In reality, the RAF have been the lead-service for Space for over 50 years due to Fylingdales, Oakhanger, Skynet, Carbonite and a variety of other capabilities. There's a well established Space cadre within the Air Battle Manager/TG12 (agree) and Eng(CIS)/TG4 (would disagree) branch and trades.
In SSA absolutely, but there are a raft of other space capabilities. The new space governance model has JFC leading with the RAF co-chairing, for a reason.
 
We used to have a reasonable amount of Defence SQEP in space, primarily through satellite operations, 1001 SU as was, which was an RAF unit with Naval (and I believe - Army personnel attached), which allowed us to develop people in space operations, ground operations, telemetry and control, and support.
There have been ongoing attempts since at least 2013 to get RN personnel into the Space Ops Centre at High Wycombe however, Navy has not shown any interest. As pointed out by MM, they have more visible fish to fry with the manning of the QEs.
 
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Fair point on the clearances.

As you alluded to earlier however, reservists' are not some sort of free workforce. We can have dozens of applicants but we have to find the liabilities and funding for them in a Service which, like the RN, has been trying to absorb several new and important capabilities since 2015 with virtually no manpower uplift.

In reality, the RAF have been the lead-service for Space for over 50 years due to Fylingdales, Oakhanger, Skynet, Carbonite and a variety of other capabilities. There's a well established Space cadre within the Air Battle Manager/TG12 and Eng(CIS)/TG4 branch and trades. However, it's highly specialised and realising our ambitions will be challenging. Reservists have their place in this area but no-one has a magic wand.

Regards,
MM
For perspective:

A good follow is Louisa
 
In SSA absolutely, but there are a raft of other space capabilities. The new space governance model has JFC leading with the RAF co-chairing, for a reason.
It's probably semantics.

Although I'm not the greatest fan of JFC (particularly in terms of ISR Cap), I see value in the Joint aspect. My point is that, while the RAF recognises and accepts the need to expand our Space capacity, it would be nice if the politicians sometimes considered the liability aspects at a similar level to Cap badge politics!

Regards,
MM
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
There was a fair level of sarcasm in that post which failed to come through in the written word
Indeed there was. We have to be exceptionally careful to manage peoples expectations and perceptions in so far as (to me) space is exactly the same as cyber. We cannot manage full careers with deep specialists except where I've stated previously but we can offer people the opportunity to dip in and out.

All three Services need to take risk and create liability or offer up liability to train and experience space, to hopefully then use that within the Services. Air are doing this with a secondee to SSTL/DSTL, posts with the USAF Space Command.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
There have been ongoing attempts since at least 2013 to get RN personnel into the Space Ops Centre at High Wycombe however, Navy has not shown any interest. As pointed out my MM, they have more visible fish to fry with the manning of the QEs.
Because as a capability in delivering SSA, the RAF have it in hand, what would we gain by helping man that apart from experience that we wouldn't use - we want the product not the process. That said I still think that product needs to be disseminated more, down to individual platform levels, if not solely to the MOC for their dissemination.

Maybe manning SpOC would help up drive more awareness into operations, but I'd argue we don't need to man it to do that.
 
Maybe manning SpOC would help up drive more awareness into operations, but I'd argue we don't need to man it to do that.
And therein lies the problem (or at least one of them); if 'we' don't man it, who will?
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
And therein lies the problem (or at least one of them); if 'we' don't man it, who will?
It's the UK Space Operations Centre, in RAF High Wycombe but it's the RAF leadership clamouring to take on Military Space operations (lets see if that is enacted in the Defence Space Strategy). To me that creates a real tension. If/when additional liability is created where will it go I wonder. A game well played and I am sure some genuinely good people like DD and Sheepy really would open it up.

In terms of a real offer to man I've not seen that made. It if were made anew, with new people in post, it may well be looked at in a different light.

Amusingly just realised who is behind the twitter handle @RAF_Space_Ops. by peering across to correlate ;-)
 
In terms of a real offer to man I've not seen that made. It if were made anew, with new people in post, it may well be looked at in a different light.
I'd hope you were right. Previous attempts, with offers of positions (but no liability offset) and invitations to Fleet, as one of the major operator 'customers', to visit the then SpOCC to get a feel for what was going on there, were met with complete indifference. Perhaps too many other crocodiles close to the N1 canoe.
 
Yes, my point was people like him and DD, common sense over tribalism. The RAF and Defence's loss.....

I'm being nice about a scope dope, look what you made me do!
It's the thin end of a very thick wedge...........
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I'd hope you were right. Previous attempts, with offers of positions (but no liability offset) and invitations to Fleet, as one of the major operator 'customers', to visit the then SpOCC to get a feel for what was going on there, were met with complete indifference. Perhaps too many other crocodiles close to the N1 canoe.
All depends who you speak to (as in all walks of life) - "Fleet" the operational element in the MOC at PJHQ is very lightly manned, the enabling areas behind that might be better placed to support if the operational elmn agreed the need (as briefed by enablers who get it..)
 

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