The US Space Force officially activated its first component for Europe and Africa on December 8. The new unit, known as US Space Forces Europe and Africa, will support European Command (EUCOM) and Africa Command (AFRICOM). This new component of the space force will be based at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, it will be led by US Space Force Col. Max Lantz and staffed by approximately 30 soldiers. The new component will support EUCOM’s growing need for satellite navigation and communications.

“We will integrate our space forces at the component level – that will provide the cadre space experts who can work with our allies and partners to integrate space activities into joint operations, activities and investments,” said Gen. Chance Saltzman, commander of space operations for the U.S. Space Force.

“The activation of the US Space Forces Europe and Africa component at Ramstein Air Base shows both the rapidly growing military importance of space and the importance of Germany as a reliable ally,” said Boris Pistorius, German Minister of Defense. “For Germany, the USA is the most important partner in the development and expansion of space capabilities.”

US Marine Gen. Michael Langley, commander of AFRICOM, said the presence of the space force “underscores our commitment to strengthening joint space capabilities across the African continent“. “We are focused not only on protecting our space assets, but also on enabling and enhancing the command’s ability to provide support for our missions,” said US Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander of EUCOM.