HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command team that provided support to a recent successful test of the NATO Medium Extended Air Defense Systems at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., was recognized for their efforts.

The USASMDC/ARSTRAT team provided target support for the NATO MEADS, which is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates 360-degree radars, netted and distributed battle management, easily transportable launchers and the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missile.

The system combines battlefield protection with flexibility to protect forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.

"I am very proud," said Bryon Manley, SMDC Test Execution Division chief. "I have a small team that is focused on rapidly responding to changing requirements through good team communication and coordination while remaining flexible to adapt customers' evolving requirements. I am proud of each member's individual effort as well as their contributions to our effectiveness as a team.

"It is an honor to be recognized, and it is a privilege to be a part of MEADS's historic first intercept event," he added. "Through all the hard work, long hours and obstacles my team has faced, we take special pride in knowing that we are supporting the advancement of a defense system designed to protect our service men and women."

The team members recognized were -- George Welch, Kathy Gotto, Rachel Howard, Brian Hunter, Cody Brezinski, Lynn Troy, Garet Fields, John Troy, Kurt Sramek and Keith Ashcraft.

Using its 360-degree defensive capability, the advanced MEADS radars, and PAC-3 MSE Missile, MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets and significantly reduces demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.

"SMDC brought world class target support to us and enabled us to execute our mission and to demonstrate the capabilities of our system," said Gregory L. Kee, NATO MEADS Management Agency general manager. "SMDC provided the targets and the capability for us to measure and instrument our systems through their quality assets and deliver them on time and on schedule. We were able to execute our test on time and on schedule."

The MEADS test configuration included a networked MEADS battle manager, lightweight launcher firing a PAC-3 MSE Certified Missile Round, and a 360-degree MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar.

"The people in the SMDC Tech Center do a lot to support the development of different technologies, especially when it comes to flight tests and trying to improve our capabilities," said Lt. Col. Morris L. Bodrick, deputy to the director of the SMDC Technical Center. "These people have done an outstanding job in ensuring that we are able to mature capabilities to get to the field in support of our Warfighters. Recognizing them is important and we wanted to recognize this team for what they have done in being able to assist in executing MEADS in their mission.

"I am glad they saw the value in what we are able to do," he added. "It is always important and critical to recognize each and every member of this team. They spent a lot of time preparing for this mission and it means a lot to them and it means a lot to the command."