REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – An Army financial leader visits with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to experience firsthand the concerns and priorities of one of the organizations impacted by her day-to-day operations.
Kirsten Taylor, director of investment for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller, along with Department of the Army headquarters budget analysts, visited with USASMDC financial professionals during a tour of the command’s headquarters on Redstone Arsenal, April 12.
“This is chance for us to get budget analysts out to the field to be able to see and touch, as well as gain experience, and learn more about what our counterparts are doing,” Taylor said. “SMDC is unique. I didn’t fully understand exactly how broad its responsibilities are. It has been a good trip so far.”
Taylor received a command brief and overview, and then visited the Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence’s Cyber Hardening Integration Lab and Simulation Center and the Technical Center’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site Operations Center-Huntsville.
USASMDC’s Richard P. De Fatta, Deputy to the commander, said this direct visit allows Taylor to understand the command’s business from an operational perspective rather than relying on quad charts, paperwork and reports to establish importance of the mission.
“She deals with current year budget issues, execution, and is key in making sure that our now-year budget items are funded,” De Fatta said. “We discussed current year funding challenges and unique aspects of the command’s mission execution not readily understood from an outside perspective, such as the critical nature of the work we do out on Kwajalein Atoll at the Reagan Test Site directly supporting missile defense testing for the Missile Defense Agency and space operations for U.S. Space Command.”
De Fatta said the command welcomes these visits from Department of the Army staff.
“It’s an opportunity to increase awareness of the critical nature of our mission and the unique command capabilities that need to be witnessed without distraction to fully understand the importance and impact to the Department of Defense and the Army,” he said.
Col. Michael R. Mai, deputy chief of staff, G-8, USASMDC, said they provided Taylor with background on missions performed by USASMDC so she was aware of its unique relationship with multiple combatant commands and how its Technical Center, Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence and brigades support multi-domain operations for the joint force and the Army.
“Familiarizing her with SMDC’s unique and critical missions helps her link those to Department of Defense and Army priorities so she can advocate for more than $200 million in investment funding we receive annually,” Mai said.
Mai said there has been a lot of confusion since the U.S. Space Command and U.S. Space Force stood up and a lack of awareness about the command’s role supporting Army forces in multi-domain operations.
“Anytime we have the chance to educate those in positions of great influence, we end up benefitting in the long run,” Mai said.