Colorado Springs, Colo. - Key senior-level enlisted leaders from around the U.S. Army visited the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's operational elements here Nov. 20.

The leaders included primarily command sergeants major and sergeants major from U.S. Northern Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Army North, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Forces Command, and the Army Capabilities Integration Center.

"The Army is the single biggest user of space," said Col. Greg Bowen, SMDC deputy commander for support.

Bowen welcomed the group to the Building 3 commander's conference room for introductory briefings on the command's capabilities.

"Think of all the Army does today. If you take space away from it - if you don't have space in the equation - we go back to the way we fought in the Korean War," Bowen said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Turner, SMDC command sergeant major, followed up with the message.

"I'm going to set the stage for what you are going to learn today. A lot of people in the Army are not aware of what we do on a day-to-day basis," Turner said. "They don't know just how much space is a part of what they do. I know I had no idea. So, that's why we asked you here. We want you to know as we work together into the future. You are in for an exciting day. This command touches each and every one of you, every day."

During the day-long visit, the group learned about the primary space and missile defense capabilities provided to the nation. These included space support, friendly force tracking, early missile warning, ground-based missile defense, payload control for satellite communications, and
integrated missile defense, along with future capabilities such as high altitude communications.

The group received briefings from NORTHCOM/NORAD, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, 1st Space Brigade, 100th Missile Defense Brigade, and SMDC's Future Warfare Center. They also toured and saw capability demonstrations on the SMDC G-3's Mission Management Center, 1st Space Brigade's Joint Tactical Ground Stations and Army Space Support Teams, the Future Warfare Center's Combat SkySat, and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.

"I'm a ground guy," said Command Sgt. Maj. Hu Rhodes, command sergeant major for U.S. Army North. "I guess I affect the strategic level by what I do, but these guys in this command are living in the strategic level every day. I've been a user of space all during my career. I just counted on it working.

"This was really good for me today. I just left U.S. Army Africa Command, which is a part of your more typical combatant command in a foreign country," Rhodes said. "Now I am in U.S. Army North. Our direct customer is the American people. You get a completely different perspective because you're looking your customer in the eye each day. So for me, coming here to see how space touches me and the others who are here, it gives us all a better idea how we can all get our organizations to work together better."