Space Capabilities Rank High For Decisive Force
February 10, 2012
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- As the Department of Defense and the Army look for ways to reduce forces while increasing strategic capabilities, the leader of the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command is confident his organization will continue to provide capabilities essential to the Army's core strength.
Lt. Gen. Richard Formica told more than 500 industry, government and technology leaders at the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association's annual membership luncheon on Jan. 26 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center that space and cyberspace defense capabilities are crucial to combatant commanders and their troops.
"If the Army wants to be able to shoot, move and communicate -- it needs space. If the nation wants to be protected from rogue nations' ability to launch ballistic missiles -- it needs missile defense," Formica said. "If joint forces want to fight in domains without geographic boundaries -- they will need space and missile defense.
"I believe exploiting the potential of space and missile defense capabilities become even more important in an era where conflicts may take place in domains without boundaries and where forward presence may be reduced."
Although there will be "efficiency drills" across the entire Department of Defense, Formica said the space and missile defense capabilities that SMDC/ARSTRAT and the U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense provide become more relevant as the Army focuses on being leaner and more effective.
"You are well aware of the fiscal challenges we face. These will lead to force reductions and program changes, and will mean a different future for all of us," Formica said.
"The recently published strategic defense guidance -- 'Priorities for the 21st Century' -- reminds us that we need to ensure we can operate in anti-access/area denial scenarios. We must have cross-domain synergy with assurances that our forces can operate effectively in space and cyberspace. And as the STRATCOM commander emphasized recently -- we must be able to fight in domains without geographic boundaries. Space and missile defense capabilities are critical to the Army as a decisive force and the Army's ability to execute unified land operations."
Last year, as the new commander of SMDC/ARSTRAT, Formica used the platform of the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association's annual meeting to announce the three core tasks of his organization -- the operations function of providing trained and ready space and missile defense forces and capabilities in service to the war fighter and the nation; the capability development function of building future space and missile defense forces; and the materiel development function of researching, testing and integrating space, missile defense, cyber, directed energy and related technologies.
As the organization enters 2012, SMDC/ARSTRAT will "remain focused on accomplishing our three core tasks while being disciplined stewards of our nation's resources," Formica said.
He went on to say that SMDC/ARSTRAT "is uniquely organized and geographically well-positioned" at Redstone Arsenal and in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"We are well positioned here in Huntsville because we are co-located with MDA, MSIC, PEO Missiles and Space, PEO Aviation, AMC, AMCOM, NASA, and the strong tech base here in the Tennessee Valley," he said.
The lieutenant general reviewed a long list of SMDC/ARSTRAT's accomplishments for 2011, including streamlining the command, synchronizing SMDC/ARSTRAT with the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, sustaining collaborative relationships with the Missile Defense Agency, seeking out opportunities to integrate activities within the Army enterprise, and improving relationships with both Department of Defense and industry stakeholders.
Formica noted the deployment of 12 space support teams to theater, bringing to 70 the number of teams deployed since the beginning of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; providing space and missile defense capabilities to 15 combatant commanders, war fighters and mission rehearsal exercises; activating the Forward Based Mode Radar Missile Defense Detachment in Japan and Turkey; providing Friendly Force Tracking data to armed forces around the world; providing geospatial intelligence and tailored satellite imagery products in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Tomodachi; providing the High Altitude Test Bed Aerostat to support the Army's Network Integration Evaluation; leading the Army's effort to draft an Army Space Operations White Paper for determining future space capabilities for the Army; orbiting the Army's first nanosatellite; and conducting the first flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon.
In 2012, SMDC/ARSTRT will continue to provide space and missile defense forces and capabilities in support of the geographic commandant commands and war fighters, Formica said.
"On any given day, we have approximately 850 operational forces supporting ballistic missile defense systems and space operations around the world -- CONUS-based, forward-stationed or deployed. That includes five space support and commercial imagery teams currently deployed, and we will deploy another eight teams in 2012 as part of the Army's nine-month deployment cycle," Formica said.
"We will provide space and missile defense forces in support of 11 combatant commands, war fighters and mission rehearsal exercises, to include the Strategic Command's Global Thunder and Global Lightning. These provide an opportunity to train the way we plan to fight in all our mission areas, and ensure we are prepared for crisis operations."
The command will also prepare for the deployment of the Long Endurance Multi Intelligence Vehicle to theater, launch the first flight of the low cost ballistic missile target alternative, the Economical Target-1; prepare for the initial High Power Demonstration of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator with a 10 kW laser; and progress toward nanosatellite demonstrations in 2012, among a long list of other tasks.
"To accomplish everything we do, we must continue to recruit, retain and support our high-performing team of Soldiers, civilians, contractors and the families that support them," Formica said.
"We are all about providing capabilities and developing public servants. SMDC/ARSTRAT is a diverse, complex and global command that provides critical capabilities to the Army, USSTRATCOM, the geographic combatant commanders and the war fighter. I am very proud of the Soldiers, civilians and contractors at SMDC/ARSTRAT on our team -- focused on accomplishing our mission, in concert with our partners in industry, academia and the other federal agencies."