Space Role in ALLIED FORCE Extensive - Effective
United States Space Command

News Release No. 11-99, June 17, 1999

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. Any questions about the role or effectiveness of the use of space for military operations have been answered by NATO’s operation ALLIED FORCE. Space operations in ALLIED FORCE have again proven that the combat effectiveness of U.S. and allied air, land, and sea forces is enhanced through the use of satellites that provide navigation, communications, weather, imagery, and ballistic missile warning capabilities.

U.S. Space assets are always forward deployed, always ready, and represent the ultimate high ground to land, sea, and air forces. From its Space Operations Center in Colorado Springs, USSPACECOM orchestrated all military space operations in support of warfighters in Yugoslavia.

U.S. Space Command and its components provided U.S. European Command with Space Support Teams which worked side-by-side with coalition warfighters to integrate space assets into their operations. Satellite communications between U.S. and NATO command and control headquarters, intelligence agencies, operations centers, and deployed forces were continuous and instantaneous. Space operators also provided backup control of the NATO Skynet communications satellites responsible for rapid and secure military and diplomatic voice and data transmissions between NATO’s member nations.

The Air Force Space Command’s Global Positioning System constellation of 24 satellites is credited with providing precise navigation and timing support to co-ordinate the actions of allied aircrews and naval forces operating in the region. GPS remains a critical system used by U.S. and allied aircraft and ships for delivery of precision munitions, including air and sea launched cruise missiles.

Near real-time satellite imagery and weather, combined with instant communications and the accuracy of GPS, gave allied commanders unparalleled battlespace awareness and permitted rapid target selection and precision attack. U.S. Space Command resources played a key role in bringing the warring parties in Kosovo to a negotiated peace and will continue to support NATO’s peace-keeping forces now entering Kosovo. Today’s on-alert, space-based forces will strengthen the nation’s defense into the 21st Century.

Source: Directorate of Public Affairs,
Headquarters, U.S. Space Command, 250 S. 80914-3190, USA; tel +1 (719) 554-6889,

Back to index / Global Network Home Page