By Staff Sgt John H. Johnson IIINovember 7, 2011
Led by Brigadier General James Dickinson and Command Sgt. Maj. Tedd J. Pritchard, the non-commissioned officers of the 94th AAMDC was able to successfully accomplish the organization's mission and build upon regional security & partnership capacity through annual combined training.
One of the biggest missions the command was able accomplish was standing up the Combined Air and Missile Defense Operating Cell (CAMDOC). This allowed the 94th AAMDC to strengthen relations with South Korean counterparts by allowing them to fight side by side in a more unified mission for the first time ever.
Staff Sgt. Justin Thorp, explained, "This allows us to do what we do best, which is to integrate theater air and missile defense."
Thorp went on to explain that, "The 4 pillars of air defense are the integration of active defense, passive defense, attack operations and C4I, which is command, control, computers, communications and intelligence."
The 94th AAMDC NCOs know the basics of air defense and what it takes to work effectively in a joint environment. They conduct 9 to 12 exercises a year within the PACOM area of operations ensuring integrated air and missile defense in the theater is job one. NCOs continue to support the mission 365 days a year 24/7 at Air Force Air Space Operations Center.
Referring to the 4 pillars Thorp said, "It made us effective war fighters that enabled us to protect our defended assets."
Not all of the command is about air defense, subject matter experts with in the command such as SFC Stephen Leist, G2 Battle Captain during the exercise specialized in strategic information gathering and dissemination to the command and other parts of the DOD.
SFC Leist worked with other branches of the military throughout in order to accomplish his mission. Leist specialized in briefing senior personnel on the latest simulated weapon Tactical Ballistic Missile launches from North Korea. He then channeled the information to other branches of the military and lateral commands.
Sgt. to Command Sgt. Maj., the in NCOs of the command work together fully approachable through all ranks in order to distribute information for a more professional, accurate, timely and efficiently ran operation.
Command Sgt. Maj. said that, "Our NCOs understand the mission, are critical thinkers and professionally portrayed themselves as the backbone of the Army."
Sgt. Christopher Helms, G-3 attack operations NCO worked in the Air Force dynamic targeted cell. He said, "Air Force personnel has opened me up to just how dynamic of a military we are and can be. Maj. Semenko, Cpt. Stone, Sgt. 1st Class Jones, SSG Johnson each has a hand in showing me a different aspect and angle of what it means to be successful. This is a different kind of unit that I am used to and they have done everything to welcome me and coach me to be able to do my duties in this job."
SGT Helms and other NCOs worked with the Air Force in the Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Cell and were able to effectively assist in target definition and target nomination. They learned first hand that their efforts working in a joint environment were very important. The NCOs of the 94th AAMDC were able to successfully nominate numerous enemy targets for destruction.
Our NCOs are in the midst of the technological age, this is not new to the Army. However, the tools they need for success of the mission is growing. New systems will continue to grow and conducting joint training events such as UFG allows our NCOs knowledge to expand. UFG made our command stronger, the alliance strong including our NCOs.
Command Sgt. Maj. Pritchard said, "I'm exceptionally proud our their discipline, knowledge and expertise. Essentially, they sold our Brand "Army Strong. Our NCOs served the USARPAC motto extremely well one team. Make no mistake about it, learning the ways of other services is tough and even tougher are understanding how our partners operate. Whether it was planning, coordinating, integrating and synchronizing, they made it happen in a joint and combined theater air and missile defense operating environment."
Command Sgt. Maj. Pritchard also said, "It goes without saying that our NCOs must continue their education in the academic world to better prepare themselves for complex operating environments in the joint, combined and bilateral.
The newest NCOs are benefiting from the wealth of knowledge that comes from being in a unit that has more E-7 and above and officers than below. They are constantly bombarded with different experiences of knowledge from multiple points of view from both NCOs and Officers across the Army and other armed forces that the command works with.