General Claudio Graziano, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, visits SatCen
On 5 February 2021, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee (EUMC), General Claudio Graziano and his delegation visited the EU Satellite Centre. He was welcomed by SatCen Director Ambassador Sorin Ducaru and Deputy Director Giuseppe D'Amico. The visit served as an introduction into the work of the Centre, and provided an opportunity to demonstrate and discuss the capabilities, responsibilities and role of SatCen.
The dignitaries were briefed on various topics from Missions and Operations, to the role of the Copernicus programme as well as the important Research and Innovation (R&I) performed by the Centre.
Mr. Álvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations, outlined the activities performed by the division, highlighting SatCen’s critical contribution and support to both EU Missions and Operations, such as Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, as well as mentioning the Centre’s support to non-EU Operations, mainly to the OSCE mission in Ukraine and to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Alexis Letulier, Head of Information Technology, reflected on SatCen's important role as a geospatial provider for its end-users, notably SIAC and Member States. The Centre both develops and delivers advanced software solutions for no additional charge. Mr. Letulier exemplified the different skills and solutions that have been developed, applying artificial intelligence to operational use cases. Moreover, the IT division talked about future ambitions to implement a platform model allowing real time 24/7 service delivery at classified level.
The Chairman was further briefed on SatCen’s cooperation with the Commission, under the Copernicus programme. Ms. Alessandra Ussorio, Responsible for Copernicus SEA Service, highlighted how the programme strengthens the capacity to support EU policies for the benefit of European citizens and EU strategic autonomy. Mr. Paulo Nunes, Project Manager of the SSA Unit, underscored the Centre’s work as a unique provider of security from space, while at the same time providing security in space as part of the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Support Framework.
In the context of the presentation, the value of the institutional construct of SatCen, the highly appreciated work performed by SatCen as SST Front Desk and the importance of assuring continuity of functions were highlighted.
General Graziano and the delegation expressed both interest and appreciation for the tasks accomplished by the Centre. “SatCen is a strategic tool at the disposal of the European Union, at the disposal of our security and defence. Its innovative approach in pooling and sharing can make a difference, and we need timely information, timely intelligence - since the planning phase and after that- to man and run all the operations” said Gen. Graziano. He completed his visit by stating, “We need satellite spatial information, and we need the analysis (…) for the good of our CSDP Missions and Operations (…) and to make our citizens safer”.