10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command remains ready to fight despite COVID-19

By Rachel SkaliskyJune 8, 2020

BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, walks with Lt. Col Justin Logan, commander 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, through the 5-7 ADAR motor pool visiting with junior leaders and soldiers at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson, 10th AAMDC PAO)
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, walks with Lt. Col Justin Logan, commander 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, through the 5-7 ADAR motor pool visiting with junior leaders and soldiers at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson, 10th AAMDC PAO) (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson) VIEW ORIGINAL
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, talks with Chief Warrant Officer 3 Samuel Adeyame, a supply systems technician assigned to Echo Company 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Smith Barracks, Germany June 8. The flags in the background are displayed in the E Co. Supply Support Activity building to represent where soldiers of the company are originally from. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson, 10th AAMDC PAO)
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, talks with Chief Warrant Officer 3 Samuel Adeyame, a supply systems technician assigned to Echo Company 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Smith Barracks, Germany June 8. The flags in the background are displayed in the E Co. Supply Support Activity building to represent where soldiers of the company are originally from. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson, 10th AAMDC PAO) (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson) VIEW ORIGINAL
ANSBACH, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, recognizes Capt. Andrew Defabio, Charlie Battery Commander, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and C Btry. 1st Sgt. Paige Shelton for their efforts and leadership during the COVID-19 crisis at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20.
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – ANSBACH, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, recognizes Capt. Andrew Defabio, Charlie Battery Commander, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and C Btry. 1st Sgt. Paige Shelton for their efforts and leadership during the COVID-19 crisis at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20. (Photo Credit: Capt. Rachel Skalisky) VIEW ORIGINAL
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Spc. David Buemi, a Patriot launching station enhanced operator assigned to Charlie Battery, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment checks and secures cables on the Patriot Launching Station outside of Baumholder, Germany May 18.
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Spc. David Buemi, a Patriot launching station enhanced operator assigned to Charlie Battery, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment checks and secures cables on the Patriot Launching Station outside of Baumholder, Germany May 18. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Epperson) VIEW ORIGINAL
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Commanding General, presents a 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command coin to Spc. Ulysesus Hodge, a sentinel crew member, assigned to Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, for his outstanding efforts on his sentinel radar crew as his team beat the battalion record time for emplacement at Shipton Kaserne, Germany on May 27.
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Commanding General, presents a 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command coin to Spc. Ulysesus Hodge, a sentinel crew member, assigned to Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, for his outstanding efforts on his sentinel radar crew as his team beat the battalion record time for emplacement at Shipton Kaserne, Germany on May 27. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Emily Hill) VIEW ORIGINAL
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, talks with Spc. Karla Taylor and Pvt. 1st Class Jose Martinez, both automated logistical specialists assigned to Echo Company, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20.
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, talks with Spc. Karla Taylor and Pvt. 1st Class Jose Martinez, both automated logistical specialists assigned to Echo Company, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, at Smith Barracks, Germany May 20. (Photo Credit: Capt. Rachel Skalisky) VIEW ORIGINAL

KAISERSLATURN, Germany –Although the world took a pause due to COVID-19, the air defense mission in Europe never stopped. The 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command remained ready to act at a moment notice. The leadership and soldiers had to find unique ways to stay integrated with our foreign allies and partners and maintain unit readiness, while taking appropriate measures to protect the force.

Brig. Gen. Gregory Brady, 10th Army Air and Missile Commanding General, was able to remain connected with our foreign allied and partner AMD leaders throughout the continent by virtual key leader engagements. These ongoing engagements ensure we maintained and continued to develop our strong air defense alliances throughout the pandemic, demonstrating our commitment to our NATO allies and partners and the deterrence of the European theatre.

The 10th AAMDC Patriot and Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) battalions were able to sustain readiness by adapting to their training with by implementation of virtual measures, physical distancing, handwashing and wearing facemasks.

“The level of readiness for air and missile defense proved critical; we actually had soldiers and leaders finding unique ways to mitigate risk to our formation,” Brady said. “Whether it was 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment executing their Patriot combined arms training strategy or 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, the Army’s newest short-range air defense battalion, executing a level of gunnery physical and digital to sustain their most critical air and missile defense roles.”

Capt. Michael Morgan, battery commander, assigned to Alpha Battery, 5-7 ADA explains that sustaining readiness while training up new soldiers is difficult enough without COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have to be more deliberate and calculated when it comes to training and planning,” Morgan said. “We are learning how to lead at the battery level without always being physically present or hands on. It’s a challenge, but our leaders and soldiers are adapting and finding ways to succeed.”

It wasn’t just the air defenders training on their Patriot and SHORAD weapons systems; the maintainers also had their own set of distinctive challenges they overcame.

“During COVID-19, while conducting services on equipment you have to have people pass tools without touching or getting to close and it gets really hot when you are carrying heavy parts while wearing all your PPE,” said Pvt. Nicholas Pruitt, a mechanic assigned to Delta Company, 5-4 ADA. “Also, with less people available at all times to help with services so it takes longer, but we have kept up.”

Once travel restrictions were loosened, Brady seized the opportunity to conduct leadership engagements in Baumholder, Germany, with the 5-7 ADA, and in Ansbach, Germany with 5-4 ADA.

“Key Leader Engagements are important because they allow key leaders to get direct feedback from their formations and emphasize their priorities,” said Capt. Andrew Defabio, Charlie Battery Commander, 5-7 ADA. “KLEs offer junior leaders and soldiers opportunities to brief senior leaders and gain perspective from an operational or strategic level.”

During the leadership engagement to Ansbach, 5-4 ADA its ability to conduct a “drive thru” COVID-19 testing of all soldiers that departed to Latvia for the joint short-range air defense live fire exercise – Tobruq Arrows.

“It was a privilege to be able to showcase 5-4’s readiness capabilities with the COVID Surveillance testing for BG Brady,” said Sgt. Benjamin Kroeger, HHB, 5-4 ADA. We have been working hard to adapt and overcome the constant changes during this pandemic. I am proud to be a part of one of the only units in USAREUR continuing to actively train with the upcoming Tobruq Arrows.”

“It was our Soldiers and our junior leaders that proved critical in getting us through this,” Brady said. “We are also going to take it to the next level as we move to the summer months as we go back to executing our most critical joint and combined air and missile defense exercises in support of US Army Europe, European Command and NATO.”