U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton Crosier, U.S. Strategic Command's director of plans and policy (left), and Khalifa Al Romaithi, United Arab Emirates Space Agency chairman, sign a memorandum of understanding at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 11. The MOU to share space situational awareness services and information "will enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations for the U.S. and UAE," according to U.S. Strategic Command. Credit: U.S. Air Force/ Senior Airman William Branch

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Strategic Command agreed to share space situational awareness data with the United Arab Emirates under an agreement signed April 11.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, Strategic Command’s director of plans and policy, and Khalifa Al Romaithi, the UAE Space Agency’s chairman, signed the memorandum of agreement during the 32nd Space Symposium here.

“We must be able to maintain situational awareness, act where necessary, and as stated in the 2010 Space Policy, preserve the space environment,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, the commander of Strategic Command, said in a press release. “Recognizing an evolving and diverse space environment — and a need to preserve access in space — it is imperative we work with and leverage our key allies and partners like the [UAE] to increase situational awareness in space.”

The UAE is the latest to join 10 nations (the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Israel, Spain, Germany and Australia), two intergovernmental organizations, the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, and over 50 commercial space companies already participating in space situational awareness data-sharing agreements with Strategic Command.

Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...