JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The commander for the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, shared his insights on integrated air and missile defense opportunities and initiatives in the Pacific during a panel discussion for the Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare (ILW), Feb. 7, in Arlington, Va.

The theme for the AUSA symposium, which focused on Army air and missile defense, was "Army AMD: Protecting the force and achieving strategic flexibility in a multi-domain environment." The symposium provided an opportunity for senior leaders from both industry and the military to interact and share their thoughts on the future of the Army's role in IAMD.

"We currently operate in a complex multi-domain environment characterized by interdependence on space, cyber space, land, air, and maritime operations," stated Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command, during his opening remarks. "The 94th AAMDC continues to work with partners in the U.S. PACOM [Pacific Command], U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Strategic Command to review and improve our capabilities in the U.S. PACOM area of responsibility."

The U.S. Army Pacific commander, Gen. Robert B. Brown, recently stated in an interview on cross-domain capabilities that one of his goals is "a Multi-Domain Battle task force that can provide ballistic missile defense, short-range air defense, cyber, (and) can be mobile and protect itself."

The 94th AAMDC plays an important role when discussing the Multi-Domain Battle and the Pacific region.

"Readiness is priority number one within the 94th AAMDC. We maintain a fight tonight mentality," stated Gainey. "As the AAMDC for the Pacific theater, we must provide isolated and distinct IAMD planning for multiple joint operation areas while also planning and coordinating for theater IAMD support across the entire Pacific AOR."

Gainey discussed how the 94th AAMDC, which is stationed on Joint Base Pearl Harbor -- Hickam, is currently embracing cross-domain operations and what the future holds.

"We are fully integrated with the 613th Air Operations Center and currently conduct cross-domain operations with U.S. Navy and Air Force sensors in support of both homeland and regional missile defense for both U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Northern Command.

"My staff is working with USARPAC to develop the initial concept for the Army's cross-domain fires task force."

According to Gainey, the task force will include an attached air defense element for counter-unmanned aircraft systems /counter cruise missile capability, which will help achieve air superiority and allow freedom of maneuver.

"This initiative is in line with European efforts and restores a much-needed non-static IAMD capability to our maneuver forces by using off-the shelf technology and currently fielded weapons systems, such as our Avenger," continued Gainey.

When discussing the challenges of working in the Indo-Asia Pacific region -- the tyranny of distance is at the top of the list. With this in mind, the 94th AAMDC identified the need for a brigade-level mission command element and used the integrated prioritized list or IPL process to request an ADA headquarters.

"The request for the ADA Brigade is important because all of our subordinate units are on the other side of the international date line,'' shared Gainey when discussing IAMD capability gaps in the Pacific and the proposed remedies. "Once the brigade arrives it will assume mission command of all forward U.S. Army AMD forces outside of Korea."

One of the most important initiatives is the Sea Dragons' theater security cooperation strategy, which includes a strong network of IAMD partnerships throughout the Pacific theater enhanced by the Pacific Integrated Air and Missile Defense Center of Excellence (PIC).

"The PIC allows us to integrate one or more countries into the planning of an IAMD scenario from mission analysis through the actual execution of the simulated exercise," said Gainey. "This capability allows the 94th AAMDC to pursue multi-lateral initiatives, bring multiple partner nations together, and focus on truly Combined IAMD operations."

Some of the partnerships highlighted by Gainey were Japan, the Republic of Korea and Australia.

"Japan and Korea are at the high-end of combined IAMD operations and work hand-in-hand with U.S. IAMD forces responding to provocations by participating in the execution of the bi-lateral JTAMD [joint theater air and missile defense] process, sensor data sharing, and the contribution of active defense capabilities through increased combined postures and readiness.

"The 94th AAMDC is also working with Australia to build a recognized officer exchange program which is meant to foster and enhance collaborative efforts by assisting in Australia's IAMD capability development which currently consists of new command and control systems, Short-range AMD and medium-range AMD systems."

The 94th AAMDC remains the first line of defense and is focused forward on the future of IAMD in the Pacific.

"These are exciting times for IAMD in the Pacific," said Gainey. "We have numerous [IAMD] initiatives, which are gaining momentum and synergy… that will ensure there will always be a strong and persistent ballistic missile defense architecture in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."