Defense

July 13, 2018
 

Demand for Army’s space and missile defense capabilities continues to grow

Tags:
Lira Frye
Huntsville, Ala.

U.S. Soldiers and NATO partners conduct a live-fire exercise with Patriot and Stinger missiles in Chania, Greece, during Exercise Artemis Strike, Nov. 11, 2017.

The demand for space and missile defense capabilities continues to grow in response to the complex array of challenges to our nation from foreign adversaries, said the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s senior civilian leader.

James Johnson, USASMDC/ARSTRAT’s deputy to the commander, discussed the increasingly complex threat environment during the AUSA Missile Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., July 10.

“Over the next 10 years we’ll no doubt expand the list of threat systems and capabilities we’ll need to defend against,” he said. “We have to sharpen our technical edge and ensure our lethality overmatch.”

Supporting those overmatch efforts, Johnson said SMDC provides critical technologies to address future needs that will enhance war fighter effectiveness. Technologies like the command’s high energy laser effort, microsatellite development and threat-representative low cost targets are key projects supporting Army modernization.

“We must remain bold and innovative, offering solutions to ensure our nation’s forces are prepared to fight across multiple domains,” Johnson said.

Highlighting preparedness, Johnson pointed out that SMDC provides trained and ready missile defense forces and capabilities to the global combatant commands.

SMDC Soldiers serving in the United States and in remote and austere forward-deployed locations operate the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance Forward-Based Mode radars, and the Joint Tactical Ground Stations.

James Johnson, deputy to the commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, speaks on the growing demand for space and missile defense capabilities at the AUSA Missile Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., July 10, 2018.

Part of preparing trained and ready missile defense forces includes providing relevant and updated training to those Soldiers operating global missile defense systems. The rigor of the command’s missile defense courses earned SMDC recertification as an Army Learning Institute of Excellence, Johnson said.

As a recognized Army Center for Analysis, SMDC conducts studies to determine how to best meet the Army’s assigned missile defense responsibilities. The command’s analyses support the processes the Army uses to document its missile defense modernization needs, and pursue joint and Army validation of its requirements.

Modernization takes money, Johnson told attendees. “We have seen vast improvement with the fiscal year 2018 budget, with a 100 percent increase for air and missile defense from Fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, going from $1.7B to $3.6 billion.”

“That’s a great move toward what we need,” he said. “Sufficient and stable funding to support growth to meet the demand, and a high state of readiness in air and missile defense.”

The United States’ competitors and adversaries will never stop fielding new types of weapons, Johnson said. “Together we are engaged and poised to respond to the needs of today’s forces, to anticipate the future, and to ensure the U.S. Army remains the most dominant land power in the world.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – July 16, 2018

News Chinese spy ship eyes RIMPAC – China was disinvited from the prestigious Rim of the Pacific exercise, but it has made an appearance anyway — dispatching a spy ship to international waters off Hawaii, the Navy said July 12.     Business Pentagon reaches handshake deal with Lockheed on newest batch of F-35s –...
 
 

News Briefs – July 16, 2018

U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan; 2nd in 6 days One American service member was killed in combat in eastern Afghanistan on July 12, the U.S. military said. Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, of Summerville, S.C., died of wounds from enemy small arms fire. Celiz was based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah,...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Austin, Texas, to be U.S. Army Futures Command location, says Army

Austin, Texas, will be the location for the new headquarters of U.S. Army Futures Command, Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper announced July 13 at a Pentagon press briefing. Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy then e...