SPACECOM commander visits Army space command

By Jason Cutshaw, USASMDCFebruary 14, 2024

SPACECOM commander visits Army space command
Russell Vela, chief of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Multi-Domain Technologies Division briefs Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of U.S. Space Command, on the USASMDC SPECTRE transportable distributed aperture research system. Whiting visited USASMDC on Feb. 12 to meet team members and learn how their missions support Space Command. (U.S. Army photo by Jason B. Cutshaw) (Photo Credit: Jason Cutshaw) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – U.S. Space Command’s new leader traveled to Redstone Arsenal, Feb. 12, for his first official visit to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, USSPACECOM’s U.S. Army Service Component Command.

Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, who assumed his role as combatant commander on Jan. 10, visited USASMDC to meet team members and learn how their missions support Space Command.

“The Army is vital to the success of the joint force, and SMDC is vital to the success of U.S. Space Command,” Whiting said. “We are very fortunate to have SMDC as one of our components, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”

During his visit Whiting toured the Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence’s Joint Air Defense Operations Center, which supports and protects the National Capital Region, and the SPECTRE transportable distributed aperture research system.

He then visited the Reagan Test Site Operations Center-Huntsville to engage with Soldiers and civilians who control the test range located at U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and learn about its mission monitoring space and missile operations.

SMDC performs critical space operations at ROC-H, Kwajalein and the Reagan Test Site. Whiting said their geographically dispersed space professionals play a foundational role in the command’s mission.

The broad scope of the Reagan Test Site’s operational impact, he noted, is significant – from supporting Air Force test activities to the Missile Defense Agency and hypersonic, then supporting space operations with U.S. Space Command. The sheer number of customers they serve each and every day is impressive, Whiting said.

He also emphasized the impacts that both SMDC and the command’s Army space professionals make to ensure the delivery of space capabilities to the joint force.

“I want to say thank you to all the Soldiers and civilians at SMDC because they are the ones driving the mission here each and every day,” Whiting said. “I appreciate that the Army has taken a serious understanding in how important space is to the Army mission, and it’s SMDC that has really helped to contribute to that understanding. Keep driving and keep delivering capability that we can leverage in U.S. Space Command.”

SMDC conducts space and missile defense operations and provides planning, integration, control and coordination of Army forces and capabilities. The command serves as the Army specified proponent for space, high altitude, and ground-based midcourse defense; serves as the Army operational integrator for global missile defense; and conducts mission-related research and development in support of Army Title 10 responsibilities.

“Gen. Whiting’s visit allows us to highlight the significant contributions U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command makes in support of the USSPACECOM mission,” said Lt. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, SMDC commanding general. “Army space professionals lead efforts to increase the understanding and integration of friendly, joint and coalition space capabilities into Army multidomain operations, while also interdicting an adversary’s use of space-based and space-enabled capabilities.

“Today we demonstrated how SMDC develops and provides global space, missile defense and high-altitude capabilities to the Army, joint force and our allies and partners,” Gainey added. “Army space professionals employ service-unique assets and capabilities to interdict, or disrupt, adversaries’ use of their space capabilities, ensuring the Army’s ability to fight and win.”