Operation HARPY SUR, a space exercise nested under Exercise Resolute Sentinel 2023 (RS23), has opened a new chapter in international space collaboration at the Satellite Imagery Operations National Center (CNOIS), in southern Peru. The space exercise aimed to bolster the region’s emerging space programs.
The U. S. Southern Command- (SOUTHCOM) led exercise partnered up with U. S. Space Command’s (SPACECOM) Joint Task Force-Space Defense Commercial Operations Cell (JCO), the Peruvian Aerospace Research and Development Center (CONIDA), and the Peruvian Air Force, and made significant strides in multinational space operations through training on real-world space domain awareness capabilities and JCO mission system familiarization.
HARPY SUR’s Theater Space Operations Center commander, Peruvian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Javier Ildefonso, highlighted the need for collaborative efforts with partner nations and interests in space domain awareness.
“For Peru, it’s very important, the cooperation and partnership with nations,” Lt. Col. Ildefonso said. “For example, two months ago, the Peruvian Space Agency and Peruvian Air Force just signed an agreement with the U. S. Space Command. We now have access to different kinds of space information, useful for different proposals considering the different threats that we have in space.”
HARPY SUR — named for Peru’s legendary harpy eagle — followed the signing of an updated space situational awareness sharing agreement between SPACECOM, CONIDA, and the Peruvian Air Force in April of this year. With this agreement, Peru is poised to elevate its space capabilities and contribute to international space safety and sustainability.
“Exercise Resolute Sentinel has brought together international military satellite operators, engineers, and commercial sensor providers onto the same ops floor,” said British Air Force Fleet Lieutenant Nick Hallchurch, JCO United Kingdom team lead. “The opportunity to learn from each other’s skill sets has been invaluable.”
The exercise provided an opportunity for space operators from the Peruvian Air Force and other partner nations, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador to interact with and learn from NATO member space professionals from the U.S. and the U.K. The team enhanced the entire Resolute Sentinel joint force through key space support activities such as space domain awareness operations, commercial space imagery, and electromagnetic warfare.
HARPY SUR highlighted the importance of the space domain in global security and the JCO’s pivotal role in facilitating international collaborations in space domain awareness. Through these initiatives, the Peruvian Air Force is expected to significantly enhance its capabilities in space domain awareness and contribute to the global understanding of space activities.