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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2024

U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific participates in Keen Edge 24

By Maj. Sarah Babcock, Space Operations Command Public Affairs

U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific participated in Keen Edge 24 Feb. 1-8, 2024, throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Keen Edge 24 was a bilateral command post exercise with the U.S. and the Japan Self Defense Forces, with Australian Defense Force participation. This year’s exercise explored critical space and cyberspace issues within a multi-domain environment across the spectrum of conflict.

As space continues to remain an increasingly essential domain for military operations, communication and intelligence gathering, strong partnerships and collaborations with international Allies, such as those in Keen Edge 24, are considered imperative for ensuring the security and safety of space-based assets.

“This is the first time that our component field command has participated in Keen Edge,” said Maj. Justin Cunningham, Logistics and Cyber Director, SPACEFOR-INDOPAC. “This exercise solidifies the sheer effectiveness and capabilities provided by SPACEFOR-INDOPAC.”

The exercise was a series of joint-multilateral command post exercises designed to increase integrated joint operational capability, refine command and control procedures and enhance interoperability of all participants. Cooperation alongside Allies and partners is critical in ensuring and maintaining the safety, security, stability and sustainability of the domain.

“Like every other component of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, our goal was to train interdependently with our Allies and partners,” said Cunningham. “We’re not alone out here in the Pacific, and we’re not alone in the defense of Space.”

Approximately 125 people making up the total joint force – from Guardians, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, and civilians directly supported SPACEFOR-INDOPAC’s team.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work the team accomplished during this exercise. The level of integration and synchronization across all domains was the best I’ve seen,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir. “Space is a critical component of the joint force, and the opportunity to integrate with space forces from Japan and Australia better informs how we must fight in the Indo-Pacific.  This was no small feat for the newest service.”

Keen Edge is part of the annual U.S.-Japan exercise series that alternates between field training exercises (Keen Sword) and command post exercises. During Keen Edge 24, Japanese, U.S. and Australian headquarters staffs will employ computer simulations to practice responses in the event of a crisis or contingency.

SPACEFOR-INDOPAC provides USINDOPACOM a cadre of space experts who can work with allies and partners to integrate space activities into shared operations, activities, and investments. By doing this, SPACEFOR-INDOPAC enhances security stretching from the Indian Ocean across South and East Asia to the West coast of the United States. Furthermore, SPACEFOR-INDOPAC promotes regional stability and advances U.S. partnerships in the region.

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