Even in the midst of budget constraints, SMDC/ARSTRAT commander Lt. Gen. Richard Formica believes the space and missile defense work of his organization will remain a vital and robust part of the Army strategic plan.
The value of the space and missile defense work performed at the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command at Redstone and throughout the Army is highly valued because of the capabilities it brings to combatant commanders and land operations.
Speaking at the 18th annual membership luncheon of the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center on Friday, Formica said the “command of dedicated public servants will continue to face challenges ahead to provide the right capabilities to the war fighter. I believe that with the (Army campaign) guidance we will continue to provide capabilities that will continue to be more critical to the Army and our forces.”
Even so, Army leaders at all levels are now preparing “for what could be a worst case scenario with our fiscal situation,” Formica said, referring to the possibility of deep cuts throughout the Department of Defense in the next few months.
“Our approach, frankly, is going to be to assess what capabilities we could provide and what we couldn’t provide, and what’s the risk that’s associated with that so the right decisions are made.”
Until those deep cuts are announced, SMDC/ARSTRAT is taking “prudent means” of internal budget reductions by reducing spending, cutting out travel, adhering to an Armywide hiring freeze and following other guidance that has been provided by the Department of Defense.
“We will do our part while maintaining funding for mission critical areas,” Formica said, that include supporting the war fighter and the war effort, and defending the homeland.
But an efficient and effective Army cannot conduct high-tempo operations without the communication networks provided by cyberspace and space, and the strategic space and missile defense capabilities used by land operations. Referring to the Army Capstone Concept published at the end of 2012, Formica said the SMDC/ARSTRAT mission fits well with the document’s description of the Army vision for the future environment and the strategy that will drive Army investment.
“I still remain optimistic that this is a good time to be in the space and missile defense business … We are regionally aligned in support of the Army’s effort to provide support to combatant commands,” Formica said.
The Army Capstone Concept, which is the lead document of the Army Concept Framework and further emphasizes the Army Campaign Support Plan for transformation, describes the vision of the future operational environment, the role of the Army in the joint force and the broad capabilities required by future Army forces. The ACC provides a guide to how the Army will apply available resources to overcome the challenges of an unpredictable and complex operational environment; a campaign of learning that will evaluate and refine the Army’s major ideas and required capabilities; and a roadmap for development of a comprehensive investment strategy that will rebalance the Army’s force structure, readiness and modernization efforts in support of national strategy. The ACC supports the Army’s need to maintain a credible capacity to win decisively and support combatant commanders across a wide range of military operations at home and abroad.
SMDC/ARSTRAT will soon publish a campaign support plan in support of the Army Capstone Concept and the Army Campaign Support Plan.
“We will align our three lines of effort – operations, capability development and materiel development – with these two important strategic documents,” Formica said. “The intent of (the SMDC/ARSTRAT) campaign support plan is to link everything we do in the command back to the Army’s strategic plan and campaign plan objectives. This is going to be a pivotal document for us in the next month or two.”
While 2012 was busy for providing capability to the war fighter and fulfilling operational requirements, Formica said 2013 will be even busier as SMDC/ARSTRAT continues to provide missile, space and defense capabilities and new technologies.
During the luncheon, ASMDA presented the following 2012 awards:
• Technical Achievement-Govern-ment: Terry Koelbl, Marshall Space Flight Center; Alexander Marsaw, Missile and Space Intelligence Center; and Dennis Miller, Missile Defense Agency
• Technical Achievement-Contractor: James Otten, Parsons (Missile Defense Agency)
• Technical Achievement-Team: Mis-sion Management and Test Execution Team FTI-01, Test Directorate, Missile Defense Agency; and Alex Priskos, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Dr. Jamie Neider, Avaition and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center
• Service Excellence-Government: Deborah Daniel, Aviation and Missile Command and Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space; Bryon Manley, Space and Missile Defense Command; and Michael Finamore, Missile Defense Agency
• Service Excellence-Contractor: Donna Hutto, Parsons (Missile Defense Agency)
• Service Excellence-Team: Missile Defense Space Development Center Team, Missile Defense Agency.