SMDC conducts space cadre course
Lenny Gehrke, Space Course instructor, speaks to Soldiers and civilians at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command attending the Army Space Cadre Basic Course Feb. 1-12. The course is for team members to learn the fu... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- A class of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Soldiers and civilians learned how to support space Soldiers who perform unique space tasks or functions or may require specialized skills to apply space capabilities.

USASMDC/ARSTRAT Future Warfare Center, Directorate of Training and Doctrine conducted an Army Space Cadre Basic Course Feb. 1-12 for team members to learn the fundamentals of space capabilities, space systems and space organizations and better understand their roles in the space community.

"We are coming out here so we can identify and train people who are space cadre," said Lenny Gehrke, Space Course instructor. "This course trains Soldiers and civilians so we can get them up to speed on space and so they can be a part of that cadre. And if they are in a slot that is proven to support space operations, then a Soldier can qualify for the Space Badge. The course's intent is to get people focused to understand how space can help the Warfighter."

Soldiers attending the course earned the 3Y skill identifier / additional skill identifier (SI/ASI) called space cadre. The course provides a basic knowledge of space capabilities and how they enable the Warfighter. This course focuses on space capabilities, limitations and vulnerabilities in the context of full spectrum operations as well as military operations in an environment where space capabilities are degraded or contested.

"The course fulfills a congressional mandate that directed all of the different services to come up with a space cadre," Gehrke said. "The way we are doing it is to create the Army Space Cadre Basic Course and in doing so, it fulfills that mandate."

The Army defines its military and civilian space cadre as a force of Soldiers and civilians who have documented training and experience in the space domain.

The Army, the largest user of space-based capabilities in the military, formalized an Army space cadre that consists of officers, enlisted and civilian personnel. Cadre functions include planning, developing, acquiring, integrating, and operating space forces, applications and capabilities. The Army Space Personnel Development Office develops policies, procedures and metrics for the Army space cadre and executes life-cycle management functions of FA40 space operations officers ensuring the Army has trained personnel to meet national security space needs.

"A lot of the people in the class have been working in the space field for many years but really didn't understand how what they do and how they support the mission," Gehrke said. "A lot of times, people get tunnel vision in their jobs. They don't fully understand the bigger picture, and what this does is open up that bigger picture and shows how space can really support the Warfighter."

The Army requires space capabilities to exercise effective mission command and support combatant commanders. The Army relies on space systems to provide rapid worldwide communication and coordination of friendly actions, develop situational awareness, gather information about adversaries, and enable a wide range of joint interdependencies to include direct downlink theater missile warning. To accomplish these tasks, the Army requires leaders and Soldiers trained to initiate and maintain access to space capabilities and who can mitigate attempts to deny, degrade, and disrupt that access.

"The space course was very illuminating," said Staff Sgt. Dianne Hoffmann, SMDC G-1 senior human resources noncommissioned officer. "It gave me a better overview of what our capabilities are and how we contribute to the safety and security of the international world we live in.

"The course gave me a better understanding of space and how the command operates in that arena," she added. "By being a part of the SMDC family, I am contributing to the security of our nation and by understanding how we operate in space and by supporting the Warfighter, I am giving them the freedom to actually do their job. The class was a lot of fun, the instructors were very knowledgeable and my classmates were hilarious. It was very enjoyable."

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