Dr. George A. Foust speaks at his recognition ceremony at White Sands Missile Range on March 17.
Dr. George A. Foust speaks at a ceremony, held at White Sands Missile Range on March 17, recognizing his contributions to the Air and Missile Defense community. (Photo Credit: Michael P. Whetston, Army Futures Command) VIEW ORIGINAL

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. - Senior active and retired leaders of the Army’s air and missile defense (AMD) community formally recognized Dr. George A. Foust as the “Godfather of IBCS,” earlier today at White Sands Missile Range.

The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) is the fire control and operational center capability for the Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (AIAMD) architecture. AIAMD provides a common mission command and sensor/weapon integration network for all Army AMD echelons that improves protection against threats in complex integrated attack scenarios.

AIAMD integrates current and future AMD sensors, weapons and mission command into a common integrated fire control system that allows the warfighter to integrate AMD components fully across all echelons.

In a recent article in the Air Defense Artillery Journal, Maj. Gen. Brian Gibson, Director of the Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team writes, “Throughout the air defense community, there are but a few highly regarded individuals who not only served for several decades, but also carried the water of the most difficult tasks and programs...and yet left an impactful legacy that will endure the decades to come. One man that fits this pedigree is Dr. George Foust, commonly referred to as the ‘Godfather of IBCS.’ For over 40 years, Dr. George Foust has provided senior analytical support to numerous Army AMD programs.”

Army AMD leaders present Dr. Foust with a plaque commemorating his contributions
Army AMD leaders present Dr. Foust with a plaque commemorating his contributions to the Air and Missile Defense community. (Photo Credit: Michael P. Whetston, Army Futures Command) VIEW ORIGINAL

Foust’s doctoral dissertation, entitled “Communication Command and Control (C3) in Air Defense” was hailed as the visionary document which charted the path for the IBCS modernization efforts in the AMD community.

This seminal work introduced a more robust, network-centric, C3 integrated fire control system, ultimately becoming the backbone of the AIAMD concept.

“When I rewind the tape back to 1995…little did I know that I was going to intersect with George [Foust] as he was the requirements guy for air defense and he understood the vision and the concept for where we wanted to move out,” said keynote speaker, Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command. “Now this is 1995, 1996, timeframe—that’s almost 30 years ago. But what was George talking about? What was he laying out? Integrated fire control, single integrated air picture, automated battle management aids, combat ID, joint interoperability…. [He] really, really opened up my eyes…how to truly be visionary in making sure that our branch…our branch stayed visionary and that we stayed ahead of the threat, that we were able to take advantage of technology, that we put into practice the concepts that George really helped develop throughout his career.”

“Had we not had that vision, had we not had what George had laid out for us some 30 years ago, plus, and laid that pathway for us to follow, who knows where we would be at today.”

“On behalf of all the air and missile defense officers, NCOs, Soldiers, civilians from the past and those that will come in to serve and reap the rewards of your work, I want to tell you thanks very much and First to Fire.”

Foust was accompanied by several family members and friends.

“I’m indeed honored by this recognition,” Foust noted in his remarks. “Nothing like this ever comes from one person. I can remember…in the early eighties, probably about [19]84, and we talked about the vision of where we wanted to go in 20 to 30 years….No man is an island. We learn from each other, we grow from each other, and that’s true of where this has gone…. I’m so proud that the Soldiers finally get to use that vision that started three and a half decades ago.”

The AIAMD program is a top Army AMD modernization priority. The Army’s modernization strategy ensures we will continue to have overmatch in a fundamentally different future environment, and part of this includes prioritizing the development of air-defense systems to ensure a capable force.