By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsJanuary 25, 2018
WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Army's senior air defender spoke to industry and defense leaders about the dynamic past year for the Army integrated air and missile defense enterprise, accomplishments and initiatives and the evolution of the IAMD strategy.
Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command spoke to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, in Washington D.C. Jan. 25 about current and future Army air and missile defense strategies.
"The Army AMD force is globally deployed and regionally engaged as a key strategic enabler for the joint force and the nation," Dickinson said. "As potential adversaries increasingly hold the U.S., our deployed forces and our partners and allies at risk with an evolving array of missiles, unmanned aerial systems and long-range rocket and artillery capabilities, AMD modernization efforts and initiatives must continue."
CSIS invited Dickinson to share his thoughts on Army integrated air and missile defense, or IAMD, Multi-Domain Battle and other AMD efforts.
"As we see other countries steadily working to expand their threat capabilities, the Army AMD enterprise faces the added challenges of the changing operational environment, the demands of the current fight and how we balance them with modernization, and the narrowing U.S. technological advantage," Dickinson said. "In the current fight, the Army's top priority is readiness, 'fight tonight' approach, with more than 50 percent of the AMD force globally positioned and regionally engaged."
He told how Army AMD forces are fully integrated and conducting operations in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S Pacific Command and U.S. Northern Command, and the demand continues to increase.
"High operations tempo requires these modernization efforts be synchronized between the operational and institutional parts of the Army, as well as stable funding because schedule changes in one area will have second- and third-order effects across the AMD enterprise," Dickinson said. "We can no longer assume a decisive technology advantage. Our adversaries are closing technology gaps with advancements in electronic warfare, directed energy, hypersonics, unmanned aircraft systems, cyber and space capabilities."
Dickinson said the command continually seeks to develop, acquire and integrate emerging technologies and capabilities that provide a technical edge against the threat.
He said the AMD enterprise is making steady progress in a continually evolving threat environment.
"We need to maintain forward momentum to stay ahead of the threats our Army, joint forces, and allies are facing," Dickinson said. "AMD forces will be integral to implementing multi-domain battle concepts and developments in the multi-domain task force. Our AMD enterprise must get it right with the capability requirements, force readiness levels, and our ability to meet combatant commanders' demands.
"Given the evolving global threat, leveraging joint and allied integration is essential, and we must continue to emphasize and advance interoperability and integration through operations, exercises, foreign military sales and other security cooperation mechanisms," he added. "We must develop and field breakthrough technologies that advance AMD enterprise capabilities, address critical shortfalls, and provide cost effective solutions. It takes Department of Defense, industry and academia working closely together to achieve this."
Dickinson said Army AMD forces have proven themselves as a preferred instrument to counter these growing threats, enhance regional stability, and demonstrate U.S. resolve and commitment. He added that Army AMD forces play a crucial role in shaping and deterrence efforts, and should deterrence fail, will provide joint forces the protection to achieve their objectives.
"More than 50 percent of our air defense forces are forward deployed or stationed around the globe protecting U.S. forces and our allies," Dickinson said. "They are engaged with our allies, advancing interoperability and integration through operations, exercises, and other security cooperation opportunities. Our service men and women are highly technical, professional warriors who are always prepared to answer the nation's call."