REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s most senior civilian leader is ready to secure the high ground.
Richard P. De Fatta was officially named as the USASMDC deputy to the commander on March 18. In this role, he provides leadership for Army space and missile defense programs, acquisition, personnel and resource management. He is one of only two three-star equivalent civilians on Redstone Arsenal.
De Fatta thanked Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, SMDC commanding general, for his trust and said he was excited and honored to continue to serve the command.
“I’ve experienced the command’s accomplishments from all levels – from leading the Kwajalein Missile Range team through high operational tempo missile defense testing, managing the development of critical technologies in the SMDC Technical Center, and shepherding capability development activities to transform Army space for multi-domain operations,” De Fatta said. “As deputy to the commander, I will be able to concentrate on enabling the SMDC team’s continued success across the entire command.”
De Fatta previously served as the director of the Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence. In this position, he outlined general program policy to support the SMD CoE primary roles in bringing space and missile defense capabilities and concepts to the warfighter.
His primary role in this new position will be to ensure the command understands and executes the commanding general’s priorities as the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command while directly supporting U.S. Northern Command’s missile defense mission.
“I will concentrate on the business operations of the command, staff and major subordinate elements, which will enable success for our operational formations performing their no-fail 24/7 missions all around the world,” De Fatta said. “Integration of ongoing efforts both inside the command and across external commands will be a major focus for me.”
De Fatta is a 1978 graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He retired as a colonel in 2005. He then spent more than seven years in senior contractor positions providing systems engineering, integration, test, program management, and technical support to Department of Defense programs responsible for the development, production and fielding of missile defense weapon systems.
De Fatta was appointed to the senior executive service on Aug. 12, 2013. Since then he has served as acting director, SMDC Future Warfare Center; director, Capability Development and Integration; acting director, SMDC Technical Center; director, Air and Missile Defense.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this role my entire career,” De Fatta said. “In the military I specialized in technology development, and acquisition, management, and testing of air and missile defense programs, including a passion for directed energy technology development and fielding.”
While serving in the civilian sector De Fatta provided direct support to SMDC and the air and missile defense enterprise with technical, analytical and management expertise.
“I could not resist the opportunity to rejoin the SMDC team as the Emerging Technology director responsible for developing directed energy and air and missile defense enabling technologies back in 2013,” De Fatta said. “Transforming the Future Warfare Center into a full-function center of excellence for space, high altitude and strategic missile defense has been highly rewarding and necessary, especially as space moves into mainstream Army formations supporting multi-domain operations and beyond.”
De Fatta, who said he takes the role of senior civilian in the command very seriously, said a people-first approach ensures the commander’s intent is met and will enable the command team to continue to excel.
“Our commander is laser-focused on the health, safety, and welfare of our entire team – Soldiers, civilians, and supporting contractors,” De Fatta said. “I will always be available to leverage my military, contractor and Army civilian experience to support the team’s needs, provide mentorship opportunities, and encourage and enable professional and personal development.
“Our people are our most precious resource, and a primary role will be to ensure that we are not only able to meet the command’s diversity and inclusion objectives, but also derive the full benefit from that diverse and highly talented team,” he added.
De Fatta said he will fully support the SMDC commander’s priorities and intent and enable success for the fantastic and talented team of Soldiers, civilians and contractors who perform complex operational missions, technology development and testing, and capability development within the Army enterprise and across the joint force.
“I will look to integrate efforts across the command to the greatest extent possible, shepherd our limited personnel and fiscal resources, and provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the entire extended Space and Missile Defense family,” De Fatta said. “My door will always be open.”
Flickr photo set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/armysmdc/albums/72177720297451283