By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsMay 25, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- Leaders from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command recently visited the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, to inform future Army leaders of how the Command defends the Warfighter.
Thomas Webber, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center director, and Dr. Steve Pierce, SMDC chief technology officer, participated in a colloquium entitled, "Space and Missile Defense in the Multi-Domain Battle and Third Offset Strategy" during the Academy's Project Day.
The leaders went to assess the current status of West Point's SMDC sponsored Research and Analysis Center, or RAC, meet with the Dean and Physics Department Head to discuss way ahead of the RAC. They also conducted an IPR with the RAC director and presented an overview of the Third Offset Strategy as well as SMDC and its role in Multi-Domain Battle.
"The purpose of the trip was to review Cadet projects, especially those sponsored by SMDC/ARSTRAT or relevant to the Command's missions, during USMA Project Day," Pierce said. "Another reason for attending was because of the role the Command plays in sponsoring and overseeing the SMDC/ARSTRAT Research and Analysis Center at West Point, which is one of only two sponsored by outside agencies.
"We received a very good reception from both Faculty and Cadets," he added. "There were very engaging questions about SMDC/ARSTRAT and Multi-Domain Battle. Specific feedback we got from the RAC director, Lt. Col. Todd A. Book, was that the Cadets and Faculty got a lot out of the colloquium."
The Cadets learned how SMDC develops and provides current and future global space and missile defense forces and capabilities to the Army, joint forces and other agencies, intergovernmental and multinational Allies and partners. They described how this will enable mission Command, enhance deterrence and detection of strategic attacks and protect U.S. vital interests in all domains of conflict.
Next, the Cadets were informed how the Command provides more than 600 operationally deployed or forward personnel stationed who deliver theater missile warning to deployed forces, provide military satellite communications around the globe, provide friendly force tracking capabilities, provides Geospatial intelligence support to joint forces, provide space tracking and space situational awareness capabilities to U.S. Strategic Command, manage FA40 cadre and manage the Army astronauts for NASA duties.
Webber and Pierce discussed how SMDC's capability development requirements and how the Command develops space and missile defense concepts, requirements and doctrine; trains Army space cadre and missile defense operators; design and document space and missile defense organizations; conduct wargames, experiments, integration and evaluation and prototyping; advocate for Army space and missile defense; execute fielding of space equipment to the Warfighter; and provides modeling and simulation for Army space and missile defense.
They gave details how the Command also executes space and missile defense research and development; has developed the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator to counter rockets, artillery, mortars and other threats; is developing space-based capabilities to enable next-generation Army communications; is working on high power microwave weapons for counter-IED and other applications; is maturing advanced hypersonic technologies; as well as providing test execution support for space, missile defense and hypersonic technologies and ballistic missile targets.
"During our office calls, it was emphasized the growing importance of the new Space Science major that was instituted this year at West Point," Pierce said. "The U.S. Military Academy has recognized the importance of space capabilities for future warfighting and how it is critical to the Multi-Domain Battle concept. Also recognized is the DoD's emphasis on directed energy development and they want closer ties to SMDC/ARSTRAT in the emerging concepts enabling directed energy systems development."
When discussing the concept of Third Offset Strategies, Cadets learned how current and future warfighters and future multi-domain warfighters will fight in diverse areas of operations and fight diverse adversaries. They explained how these warriors may very well start campaigns on one end of the spectrum of conflict while moving to another part of the spectrum of conflict and must be able to leverage innovative solutions on the move.
Multi-Domain Battle is the ability to maneuver to positions of relative advantage and project power across all domains to ensure freedom of action. It integrates joint, inter-organizational, and multinational capabilities to create windows of domain superiority and preserve joint force freedom of maneuver while exploiting temporary domain superiority by synchronizing cross-domain fire and maneuver to achieve physical, temporal, positional and psychological advantages.
"We discussed both Third Offset Strategy and Multi-Domain Battle," Pierce said. "During the colloquium, I emphasized that the Third Offset Strategy should include developing the technologies that will enable our ability to innovate on the move. We can do this by leveraging new technologies in 3D printing, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, human and machine interface, and big data. Multi-Domain Battle demands that we develop capabilities as well as trained leaders who understand the interdependencies of all the domains on warfighting."
As future officers, some of the Cadets will play a role in the future of SMDC and how the Command needs more of them, as well as academia, to focus on investigating non-kinetic concepts; find cost-effective solutions for light-weight materials; making stored power more tactical; answer the need to provide power recharging in remote regions; how to reconstitute space capabilities quickly; and find enabling technologies that will help with size, weight and power challenges.
"The Command's way ahead for the Research Analysis Center as well as its relationship with West Point includes developing lab capabilities that will support SMDC/ARSTRAT research and development in its mission sets; expanding partnerships with labs located close to West Point; and with the other service academy labs," Pierce said. "We want to inform Cadets of the future opportunities as FA40 officers, assist in tracking space majors during the period between commissioning and selection as FA40s, and giving West Point Cadets an awareness of SMDC/ARSTRAT and its importance in providing Space enablers, defending our homeland and protecting the force."