By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsJune 24, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Members of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command welcomed the U.S. Strategic Command's commander on his trip to Redstone Arsenal June 20 for his first official visit.
Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander, visited USASMDC/ARSTRAT for a command overview and to meet key members of the command.
"I am always delighted to get around and see the folks who are doing the important work of United States Strategic Command," Haney said.
Haney is responsible for the global command and control of U.S. strategic forces to meet decisive national security objectives. USSTRATCOM is one of nine unified combatant commands (COCOMs) of the Department of Defense and provides a broad range of strategic capabilities and options for the president and secretary of defense.
The ARSTRAT serves as the Army Service Component Command to USSTRATCOM. ARSTRAT conducts space and missile defense operations and provides planning, integration, control and coordination of Army forces and capabilities in support of USSTRATCOM missions (Strategic Deterrence, Integrated Missile Defense, Space Operations and Cyberspace Operations); serves as the Army specified proponent for space, high altitude, and ground-based midcourse defense; serves as the Army operational integrator for global missile defense; and conducts mission-related research and development in support of Army Title 10 responsibilities.
In his other hat as the commander for the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, Lt. Gen. David L. Mann, provides the USSTRATCOM commander with synchronized missile defense plans, conducts ballistic missile defense (BMD) operations support, and advocates for missile defense capabilities in support of USSTRATCOM, other COCOMS, the services and appropriate U.S. government agencies to deter and defend the United States, deployed forces and its allies against ballistic missile attacks.
Upon his arrival at Redstone Arsenal, Haney was greeted by Mann and other SMDC leaders who welcomed him to the command headquarters. Haney then visited the Concepts Analysis Laboratory (CAL) where he learned about how the command trains college students and future engineers.
"It was a real treat for us to present our work to Adm. Haney," said Kevin Nash, CAL supervisor. "Our students and young engineers and scientists were honored to get to speak with him and to share their experiences of coming through our development program. I really believe encounters like this with Army and DoD leadership strengthen their morale and commitment to the DoD, and I think maybe those leaders leave our lab feeling rejuvenated and optimistic about what we are doing here, as well."
Haney was then escorted to the Future Warfare Center's Joint Air Defense Operations Center-Developmental, or JADOC-D, to see what SMDC does to support and protect the National Capital Region.
"The SMDC Battle Lab provides sustainment engineering in conjunction with the multiple system program offices to ensure the air defense task force at the National Capital always has a fully functional system to perform its mission," said David Cox, SMDC Integrated Missile Defense Division chief. "It is important for the STRATCOM commander to understand the efforts of the Army and Air Force acquisition communities to provide an effective integrated air defense system for the National Capital. Our role is to support a rigorous test program to give the military operators confidence that the systems will perform their various missions effectively if required."
Haney had lunch with members of the command leadership and received a briefing by Army astronaut Col. Mark T. Vande Hei and Air Force astronaut Col. Eric A. Boe about the future of America's space program.
He was briefed on the overall importance of the command's mission and how the command's Technical and Future Warfare centers coordinate and develop current and future technologies.
"This is my first visit to SMDC headquarters in Huntsville, and I have been impressed with the professionalism of the Soldiers and civilians," Haney said. "The Technical Center's Concepts Analysis Laboratory and the Future Warfare Center's Joint Air Defense Operations Center are critical to SMDC/ARSTRAT's support of USSTRATCOM on a daily basis."
As the visit to the command headquarters ended, SMDC's senior civilian leader reiterated the importance of the admiral's time.
"The visit is important for Adm. Haney to gain an in-depth view of the command as it relates to our entire suite of space and missile defense capabilities to strengthen the already strong relationship between SMDC and STRATCOM," said Ronald E. Chronister, SMDC deputy to the commander. "We appreciated the opportunity to talk with Adm. Haney about the space and missile defense capabilities this command provides to USSTRATCOM and COCOMs and the significant role they play in the defense of our nation and our allies."
After lunch and an award ceremony, Haney then travelled to the Reagan Operations Center-Huntsville, or ROC-H, to visit with Soldiers and civilians who control the Reagan Test Site located at U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and its mission of monitoring space and missile operations.
"We want to inform Admiral Haney about what ROC-H and the Reagan Test Site allows us to do," said Tom Webber, director, SMDC Technical Center's Space and Cyberspace Technology Directorate. "They allow us to have command and control and be more available to our customers who are mostly located stateside. It also gives us the ability to not only control the radars and other assets, but allows us to save money.
"We are excited for the visit and pleased he is able to give us the amount of time to explain what we do," he added. "It is important that he sees what we do both here at SMDC and at the RTS."
Haney received a briefing on ROC-H operations, learning of the many ways the facility provides up-to-date information for the nation's space warriors. The center also provides SMDC with the tools to remain the Army's operational integrator and force modernization proponent for space, global missile defense, high altitude and related technologies.
Haney talked about his impressions of the Reagan Operations Center and what the facility provides to STRATCOM and to national defense.
"It was great to see firsthand how the ROC-H has transformed the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands from a locally operated range to a globally operated national asset," Haney said. "Since coming online in 2012, ROC-H has been the command and control facility for missile defense testing and for space operations despite being more than 6,500 miles from the Kwajalein Islands. The ROC-H operates a national missile defense test range and conducts operational space surveillance with precision and accuracy, all from an extreme distance from the range."
Before leaving, Haney took a moment to show his appreciation for what the Soldiers and civilians at SMDC do for the defense of the country.
"Every single day you do important work for the entire joint team, and I could not be more proud to lead you," Haney said. "The Soldiers and civilians assigned here do a critical job for the nation. Missile defense and space activities are of growing importance to our joint military forces, and are critical to our warfighting activities and our national security. While we will continue to face threats from ballistic missiles and proliferation of ballistic missile technology, your work in missile defense is a critical part of how we combat those threats and reassure our allies. What you do keeps our nation safe, and I thank you for your professionalism.
"Thanks for what you and your families do for our nation," Haney added. "I appreciate your service to our country and urge all to keep up the great work."