PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – About half of the U.S. Army’s space operations officers virtually convened for an annual event to train and share ideas.
Including the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Army Space Personnel Development Office, more than 250 personnel registered to attend the Functional Area 40 Training Forum Aug. 18-19 hosted at Peterson Air Force Base.
“The purpose of the forum is to provide space training, update the community on current and future capabilities and initiatives across the Department of Defense, and provide an overview of the tactics, techniques and procedures used by various organizations to accomplish their space-related missions,” said Jerry Pepin, director, ASPDO, Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence.
Topics included Future of Army Space, 2028 Army Space Concept and Capabilities, U.S. Army Pacific Space Efforts, and an update for the Information, Intelligence, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Space battalions.
Pepin said that during the current working environment, it is important to maintain operations as close to pre-COVID 19 as possible for the 393 active component and approximately 130 reserve component FA40s.
“The continuance of the forum helps to emphasize the importance of the space domain and supports the professional development of the Army's FA40s and other members of the space cadre,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, said while kicking off Day 2 of the forum that one day an FA40 would command U.S. Space Command.
“When I look at all of the people who are participating, I have no doubt that somebody who is in this Microsoft Teams session this morning will be the commander at U.S. Space Command,” said Karbler. “I don’t know when that will be, but an FA40 will command U.S. Space Command.
“I want to make sure everybody understands you have to make yourself competitive. You have to be willing to take on the hard assignments to continue to progress up to potentially serve as the Space Command commander. So make sure when you are going through the assignment process, you’re taking on all of those hard jobs.”
Karbler told forum participants that in their current assignments as a space professionals, to make sure the commanders they support know exactly who they are and make sure they are linked in with operations and other leaders to show them the relevance of Army space.
“Thanks for what you are doing every day,” said Karbler. “Space has never been more relevant than it is today, and it is because of what you are doing.”
The Army is the largest DOD user of satellite capabilities. An Army space operations officer utilizes and integrates space capabilities with terrestrial-, air, sea- and high-altitude-based systems owned and operated by DOD, the intelligence community, civil agencies and commercial partners to provide integrated and timely capabilities to the warfighter.
FA40 officers serve in operational and planning positions at all organizational levels supporting Army and joint DOD organizations that focus on developing and integrating space capabilities, as well as operationally supporting the warfighter with space-based capabilities.
Additional information on Army space operations officers can be found at https://www.smdc.army.mil/RESOURCES/FA40/.