Visit of Lieutenant General Marian Sima, Head of Romanian Military Intelligence Centre
On 5 April 2022, a delegation from the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, headed by Lieutenant General Marian Sima, Head of the Romanian Military Intelligence Centre, visited SatCen.
The objective of this first visit was to develop an understanding of the Centre and its activities and discuss the importance of partnership and commonalities. On this occasion, Director Ducaru provided a political overview of the Centre and its role for CFSP and CSDP, highlighting SatCen’s unique role in providing geospatial awareness for foreign policy decisions and external action, as well as for the conduct of crisis management, civilian missions or military operations. Following this line, the Director discussed the value-added of the Centre for the support of the EU’s strategic autonomy and outlined how SatCen contributes to the four pillars of the Strategic Compass.
Mr Álvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations, provided a short introduction to the Centre’s operational activity, deep-diving into specific examples of interest to the delegation. Furthermore, Mr Rodríguez underlined the value of SatCen not only as a tool for EU strategic autonomy but also as a multiplier and hub for synergies. Lieutenant General Sima and his delegation were also invited to visit various workstations and explore the different products and services offered by the Centre –from support to humanitarian aid to issues related to environmental monitoring-.
The event continued with a briefing by Mr Alexis Letulier, Head of IT, where SatCen’s contribution to the EU Geospatial intelligence community was discussed. Mr Letulier presented the operational applications and solutions developed in-house – from reconnaissance tools to the more recent design of Artificial Intelligence models- and their implications on the current work of SatCen Analysts.
Mr Denis Bruckert, Head of the Copernicus Unit, underpinned the importance of space for the security and defence sector, further stressing the Centre’s role as a strategic GEOINT tool for the European Union. In his briefing, Mr Bruckert provided project examples, highlighting the close collaboration with the Commission as part of the EU Space Programme, and briefed on plans for further evolution. In this context, the climate-security nexus was explored, along with its consideration as a risk multiplier in the context of international stability and security.
Lastly, Mr João Alves, Head of the SSA/SST Unit, introduced SatCen’s unique role as EU SST Front Desk. Mr Alves briefed on the space services provided through this specific function, from the user interface to the delivery of specialized SST services of collision avoidance, fragmentation analysis and re-entry prediction. Mr Mihai Ghita, SSA/SST Project Manager, further exemplified the work of the Centre as Front Desk by illustrating recent monitoring campaigns. The briefing both highlighted the important role Romania plays in this collaboration and reaffirmed the need for security in space and the consequences this component has on earth.
Upon concluding the visit, the delegation met with Romanian staff, many of which had participated in the briefings, and had a tour of the Centre's extended premises. Lieutenant General Marian Sima showed great interest in the different components and activities performed by the Centre, stating, “I would like to convey my utmost appreciation for the excellent cooperation and relationship between our two institutions as well as for the continuous shared experience and insights that help us navigate today’s challenging security environment”.