By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsMay 12, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense commander, conducted town halls at the JFCC-IMD headquarters May 9 and at USASMDC/ARSTRAT's headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 10; and at the Von Braun Complex III auditorium May 11 in Huntsville.
During his first town hall since assuming command in January, Dickinson addressed his vision, mission and intent for the future of JFCC-IMD and SMDC.
"Since January 5th I have been learning the command and learning the people in the command and what the mission is," Dickinson said. "My overall impression of the command is very positive."
Dickinson explained how SMDC provides operational forces for space and missile defense operations that protect Americans and enhance the effectiveness and lethality of Army units; provides critical space situational awareness and missile warning to the joint force; builds the Army's space cadre and execute life-cycle management for more than 325 space operations officers; operates world-wide satellite communications; and many other endeavors.
He said the common link uniting the organization is its commitment to superiority in space and missile defense mission sets to safeguard the security of the nation and our allies. The general added that superiority against our adversaries in today's environment is needed because our Warfighters face a massive challenge.
Dickinson spoke of his role as commander of JFCC-IMD and its support to U.S Strategic Command.
"This organization does great work and punches way above its weight," Dickinson said. "It performs a very unique but critical mission to the United States Strategic Command. It also provides a remarkable capability to the missile defense enterprise across all the combatant commands and Department of Defense."
Dickinson said his top priority are to: Protect America's homeland; provide combat-ready forces and capabilities; plan and conduct synchronized global operations; prepare or adopt leap-ahead concepts and technologies; preserve and account for the nation's critical resources; and promote and foster a positive command climate.
"Quality planning gives an opportunity to learn and provide feedback to experts at preparing and adopting leap-ahead concepts and technology," Dickinson said. "Winning concepts and technology are not without cost and it's the command's duty to ensure it is fully accountable for the nation's critical resources."
Dickinson shared his vision for SMDC's success and said it was crafted to deliver equivalent support to our two higher commands at the Department of the Army headquarters and U.S. Strategic Command. He said that with guidance from these higher commands, the goal is to maintain a globally-integrated, highly-collaborative, fully-enabled culture and organization because this will allow SMDC to deliver capabilities that will generate overwhelming multi-domain combat effects against adversaries wherever and whenever required.
"Across the globe, SMDC provides distinct, uniquely important forces and capabilities," Dickinson said. "And the way we maximize these in the current fight, next fight and for future fights is through our command's collective ability to synchronize."
Dickinson thanked the SMDC team by reminding them that what they do matters to America's defense and the future promises increased relevance for space and missile defense.
He told them they are the key to success and said all needed to be treated with dignity and respect. He pointed out that the command is a family and as its leader he promised to provide a positive command climate, to aggressively advocate for the team, set the example for ethical and moral conduct and set a climate that empowers and is transparent.
"Whether protecting America, preserving resources or promoting a positive command climate, my priorities begin and end with our service to the American people," Dickinson said. "Good organizations instill a sense of this responsibility, which inspires pride in individuals for their trustworthy and careful contribution to the country's cause.
"Like me, you come to work to win every day," he added. "We don't just participate, we are champions."
Along with the commanding general, James Johnson, USASMDC/ARSTRAT deputy to the commander, discussed SMDC's organizations, missions, functions and civilian work force.
Also speaking was SMDC Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Wiggins took a few minutes to talk about the command's Soldiers stationed around the world and the mission they are accomplishing for the nation.
"Our Soldiers are out there doing great and wonderful things," Wiggins said. "You should be proud of them. I am extremely proud of them and I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to interface with the commanding general on behalf of all of the enlisted Soldiers and families of SMDC."
Dickinson ended each town hall with a question and answer period with the audience and a presentation of awards alongside Wiggins and Johnson.