SMDC celebrates 65 years of service to country

By Jason Cutshaw, USASMDCOctober 13, 2022

SMDC celebrates 65 years of service to country
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command celebrates the command’s 65 years of history beginning in 1957 by hosting a 65th Anniversary Bash at The Summit on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Sept. 30. (U.S. Army graphic by Allen Meeks) (Photo Credit: Allen Meeks) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – Soldiers, civilians, retirees and friends of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command came together to honor the command’s 65 years of history beginning in 1957.

The USASMDC’s Huntsville headquarters celebrated by hosting a 65th anniversary bash at The Summit on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Sept. 30.

“We are the SMDC family and my time here is just a small window in the big history of the command and who knows what the next 65 years are going to bring,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, SMDC commanding general. “It is my sincere appreciation and gratitude to everybody here in the command. Whether you are in Huntsville or Colorado Springs, Colo., or 22 locations in 11 different time zones. Whatever you do to support this command, it is an incredible privilege and honor for me to be able to serve you as your boss and I couldn’t do it without all of you.

“I just want to thank everybody in the command,” he added. “I want to thank the spouses and I want to thank the families for what you do each and every day for SMDC.”

SMDC traces its heritage to the Redstone Anti-Missile Missile System Office. RAMMSO was established by the Ordnance Corps, Oct. 3, 1957. The office was the first Army organization with a missile defense and space mission.

As in the past, the command’s missions have evolved to meet the needs of the nation and even today develops and provides current and future global space, missile defense and high-altitude capabilities to the Army, joint force and America’s allies and partners, to enable multi-domain combat effects; enhance deterrence, assurance, and detection of strategic attacks and protect the nation.

SMDC’s historian said since the 20th anniversary in 1977, the command has taken time to come together as a team to celebrate the command and its contributions to history, which can greatly support the sense of esprit de corps.

“Although we don't typically mark our fifth anniversaries, it is perhaps suitable to do so this year as we have experienced so much change of late,” said Sharon Watkins Lang, SMDC historian. “Two and a half years of COVID conditions have kept us apart and as we begin to come together it is good to see how we have persevered. Tests have continued, studies were conducted and advancements were made. This anniversary provides us an opportunity to come to together and reflect upon the accomplishment of our team throughout its history on behalf of the Army and the nation.”

Richard P. De Fatta, SMDC deputy to the commander, said that recognizing the command’s heritage and longevity of developing functional expertise in missile defense, space and high-altitude capabilities allows SMDC’s team of dedicated military, government civilians and contractors to maintain perspective on the importance of these capabilities to national defense.

De Fatta said a look at the world today underscores the critical nature of the command’s work and the role SMDC has played for so many years.

“The public needs to know that in the areas of missile defense and space, SMDC has the country’s best interests in mind and that we are ensuring that our warfighters have the most effective, efficient and advanced capabilities that our 65 years of continuous domain execution can provide,” De Fatta said. “It is truly an honor and privilege to be a part of this incredibly capable and motivated SMDC team. I personally have had the opportunity to be a part of all aspects of our mission – operations, technology development, and capability development – with an initial assignment to the command in 1996 and have been part of the greater missile defense and space enterprises in related organizations for almost 45 years. I feel blessed and grateful to be on this team for a large part of our 65-year history.”