By T.J. Coles
The US Space Force and related Space Command are committed to ruling the world. They call the doctrine “full spectrum dominance.”
The US achieves this, in part, with various ground bases, like RAF Menwith Hill in the UK and Pine Gap, Alice Springs, Australia. Most people know about the latter’s role in surveillance, but little is known is about Pine Gap’s part in space weaponisation.
Even less is understood about Australia’s non-Pine Gap space activities undertaken on behalf of the US.
Last July, the 25th Space Ranger Squadron of the US Space Force met at Lavarack Barracks, Queensland, as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21). TS21 is described by the US Space Command as..
“Australia’s largest military exercise with the U.S. and is a demonstration of the strong alliance underpinned by deep levels of cooperation and trust built over decades of operating and training together.”
Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the US, which created the entity, constitute the Five Eyes nations: the global spying network whose infrastructure also enables the US to dominate space.
AFTER THE WAR
After the Second World War, the US and Australia signed numerous “treaties” granting American personnel access to Australian land and bases.
A US Navy thesis says that of the Five Eyes nations, “Australia and the United States have collaborated the most actively in defense related space in recent years.”
The Multilateral Security Treaty 1951 states: “Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on any of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.”
This basically meant that whenever the US wanted to bomb or invade an Asian country, Australian troops would be expected to participate; to kill and be killed.
In 1960, Australia and the US signed a Mutual Weapons Development Programme, giving the US proprietary rights to new weapons developed in Australia. The Naval Communication Station was built three years later at North West Cape.
In 1966, Project Sparta (Special Antimissile Research Tests, Australia) saw long-range re-entry experiments with the US and Britain, and the establishment of the Joint Defense Space Research Facility, commonly known by its location name, Pine Gap.
After PM Gough Whitlam implied that he might not renew the Facility’s lease, the CIA (which practically ran the base) engineered his dismissal.
In 1969, a Joint Defence Space Communications Station (DSCS) was founded at Woomera, South Australia. Today, the Woomera Range Complex includes the Test Range (TR). Under the TR operates the Prohibited Area, the Nurrungar Test Area, and Camp Rapier: a specialist training garrison.
To give an example of the kind of role these facilities play, a US Navy thesis notes that the DSCS “enabled the U.S. Air Force to employ a single satellite in geostationary orbit, as opposed to two satellites in Molniya orbits, to detect Soviet ICBM launches.”
FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE
Created in 1992, the Royal Australian Air Force’s Number 1 Radar Surveillance Unit, later renamed the Remote Sensor Unit, was headed by the RAAF Wing Commander.
By 2015, the 100-plus person teams had incorporated the Australian Space Surveillance Network and Mission Processor, which downloads infrared signals from the US Air Force Space Based Infra-red System.
This is relevant because missiles give an infrared signature via their heat exhaust and contrails (which is partly why the military covertly tests its systems by getting jets to lay chemically-modified contrails, or “chemtrails,” in various skies).
In 1997, the same year that the Space Command declared that US doctrine was “full spectrum dominance,” the DSCS oversaw the Defense Satellite Program (DSP), which included the Down Under Early-warning Experiment Exercise. The exercises included spotting ships with over-the-horizon radar.
The DSP was moved to the Joint Defense Space Research Facility at Pine Gap.
In 2005, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics’s Mobile User Objective System ground station was built near Geraldton, West Australia, for the US Navy as part of the American Satellite Command (SATCOM). The Australian component forms a ground-based network along with stations in Hawaii and Virginia.
In 2013, Australia signed a Space Situational Awareness agreement with the US. Indicative of Australia’s loss of sovereignty, the agreement allowed the Australian government access to information from the US Strategic Command Joint Space Operations Center. This implies that the dominant US can now confidently share information with the government hosting its bases.
At the close of 2020, it was reported that Japan’s Office of Space Policy had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Pentagon over the development of mutual (meaning US-dominated) military space programmes; in this case using Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System to launch sensors and possibly weapons.
A few months ago, South Korea announced a $13bn military satellite programme after the US and SK agreed to end the latter’s 800km limit on missile launch tests. The expansion of Japanese and SK weapons are a threat China.
Australia is another significant country in the ground-based part of the US space arsenal.
In December 2019, it was reported that personnel from Five Eyes militaries had met under the US-led Combined Space Operations Center (CSOC). CSOC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, under the US Space Command, as opposed to Space Force.
In that year, the Space Command’s Global Sentinel international meeting included the Five Eyes (minus New Zealand), plus France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.
The US Space Force has a Space and Missile Systems Center (SMSC). The SMSC has a two year-old Space Surveillance Telescope.
In March 2020, the Telescope was moved from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to the Harold E. Holt Naval Communications Station in Western Australia, near Cape Range National Park.
The Telescope is part of the Space Domain Awareness Division and a component of the Space Surveillance Network. The apparatus is part of a ground-based sensor array that looks for threats, including space debris.
The Telescope is operated by the Royal Australian Air Force and overseen by the US Space Force 21st Space Wing.
The Pentagon hopes that space “ownership” will enable global domination. As China rises economically and militarily, the strategy will shift from domination to containing China; hence the use of Japan and South Korea as proxies that host US space systems, including missiles and tracking.
But one of the many downsides of allowing America to use Australia as a proxy is that Australia has become a target for any potential retaliation or strategic error by China.
During the Cold War, America’s basing of nuclear weapons in the UK, as well as the presence of the National Security Agency and related entities at RAF Menwith Hill, turned Britain into a Russian nuclear target.
Similarly, an unnamed Chinese military official is recently quoted as saying that the new US-British-Australia military alliance:
“…would make Australia a potential target for a nuclear strike, because nuclear-armed states like China and Russia are directly facing the threat from Australia’s nuclear submarines which serve US strategic demands.”
“Beijing and Moscow won’t treat Canberra as ‘an innocent non-nuclear power’, but ‘a US ally which could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime’.”
Dr. T.J. Coles is the author of several books, including — The War on You.
Check out T.J’s Amazon page by clicking here.
View more published content from Coles here.
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