SMDC leader talks AMD at symposium

By Jason Cutshaw, USASMDCSeptember 29, 2022

Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler speaks at the ADA Symposium 2030 - Enabling the Maneuver Commander
Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, Commander, United States Army Space and Missile Defense Commander, United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command, spoke at the 2022 Air Defense Artillery Symposium at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Our theme for this year’s symposium is “ADA for Army 2030 - Enabling the Maneuver Commander.” This theme originates from Air Defense’s significant growth and modernization efforts to provide additional capability and capacity to the operational force. Invited speakers include senior leaders of the Army with vast AMD experience to include General James Dickinson, LTG Daniel Karbler, MG Sean Gainey, and the AAMDC Commanders. Additionally, LTG Donahue will provide a Corps Commander's perspective of what capabilities are required from Air Defense Artillery to enable the maneuver force. These discussions will aid in the development of the AMD force for the Army of 2030. (Photo Credit: Amber Osei)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The Army’s senior air defender and commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command talked air and missile defense during the 2022 Air Defense Artillery Symposium.

Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, addressed the symposium at the U.S. Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Sept. 27, where this year’s theme is “ADA for Army 2030 - Enabling the Maneuver Commander.” The theme originates from Air Defense’s significant growth and modernization efforts to provide additional capability and capacity to the operational force.

“Everything we have to talk about has to start with a threat,” Karbler said. “Every theater where we have air and missile defense forces – deployed, forward-stationed or even here in the homeland – we face significant threats. From quad-copters to (intercontinental ballistic missiles); from low, slow unmanned aircraft systems to hypersonic missiles; from targeting individual combat vehicles to targeting strategic geopolitical assets or major U.S. population centers, we see the normalizing of the adversary’s use in testing ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, rotary-wing, fixed-wing and UASs.”

Karbler said it is imperative to understand when and how adversaries will deploy their capabilities and how they will use them.

“We have to know the details. We have to know what is the target, what are they deploying them against, what is the order of battle and what are the quantities?” Karbler said.

Karbler said America’s ADA forces have experienced operations tempo challenges while remaining resilient.

“There is an element of passive defense that never gets discussed, and that is, frankly, the resiliency of people,” Karbler said. “The OPTEMPO challenge we are facing is not going away. We can’t modernize if today’s (private first class) isn’t tomorrow’s (platoon sergeant), and we can’t modernize if today’s (lieutenant) isn’t tomorrow’s (lieutenant colonel). We have to be able to recruit and retain our air defenders in order to meet the needs of the Army of 2030.

“Recognize and share the growth path that ADA is on,” he added. “Recognize and appreciate the multitude of future opportunities across a broad spectrum of ADA missions, positions and assignments you have in front of you. Then help us retain a healthy, growing and vibrant air and missile defense force.”

Karbler said that shaping and sharing of allied involvement in air defense capabilities is an area he has been tackling for a long time.

“The Missile Defense Review talks about the importance of sharing data with our allies. We can’t fight alone and we understand the necessity of integrating with our allies,” Karbler said. “From personal experience, sometimes I think the closer you get to the fight, integration happens more readily, quickly because they understand the threat is right here in our backyard and we need to stay coordinated.”

He also discussed the health of the force and the demand for air defense forces from combatant commands. Karbler said Army senior leaders value ADA Soldiers and recognize the sacrifices Soldiers and families make to retain readiness while still maintaining OPTEMPO.

“I am not going to be an OPTEMPO apologist,” Karbler said. “We have Soldiers in harm’s way and the adversary is shooting at them, and we have to keep them protected. That is why the charge is ‘how can we leverage technology and how can we be innovative in providing adequate coverage in our defense designs while still reducing the OPTEMPO?’”

Karbler said air defenders should be proud they are called on as the sole provider for protection on deployed forces.

“As leaders we should share that with our Soldiers. We should never take it for granted that they continue to respond to the call,” Karbler said. .We owe them some level of predictability and we owe them the understanding that what they are doing is important and appreciated. From the secretary of defense on down to Army senior leaders and senior leaders within the Department of Defense, It is not lost on them about what the air defense force is doing.”