United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command

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Space and Missile Defense Command
United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command Logo.svg
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Active1 October 1997 – present
Country United States
BranchMark of the United States Army.svg United States Army
Part ofUnited States Space Command emblem 2019.png United States Space Command
Seal of the United States Strategic Command.svg United States Strategic Command
HeadquartersRedstone Arsenal, Alabama, U.S.
Lieutenant General Daniel L. Karbler[1]
Distinctive Unit InsigniaSpace and Missile Defense Command DUI.gif

The United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) is an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) of the United States Army. The command was established in 1997. The current USASMDC commander is Lieutenant General Daniel L. Karbler with Senior Enlisted Advisor Command Sergeant Major Finis A. Dodson.

The Army Space Command (ARSPACE) stood up in April 1988 as a field operating agency of the Deputy Chief of Staff (of the Army) for Operations and Plans.[2] As the Army component of U.S. Space Command, ARSPACE was to provide the Army perspective in planning for Department of Defense space support and ensure the integration of Army requirements into joint planning for space support and "conduct planning for DoD space operations in support of Army strategic, operational and tactical missions."

A relatively small organization, it was soon put to the test. The new command was instrumental in bringing space assets to U.S. Army forces during Operation Desert Storm. Following the war, new operational missions, such as the Army Space Support Teams and the Joint Tactical Ground Stations, became key elements of the Army space program.

Organizationally however, ARSPACE remained a command, a Tables of Distribution and Allowances, or TDA, organization with offices and directorates according to mission, rather than an Army operational Table of Organization and Equipment unit. This changed on 1 May 1995. On that date, ARSPACE's Military Satellite Communications Directorate or MILSATCOM Directorate became the 1st Satellite Control, or SATCON, Battalion—the first Army battalion with an operational mission tied to space systems and capabilities.


The SMDC is made up of several components, Active Army and full-time Army National Guard, due to the 24-hour a day, 7-day a week, 365-day a year nature of SMDC's mission:[3]

The 117th Space Battalion has a training, readiness, and oversight (TRO) relationship with the 1st Space Brigade but is not actually part of it, as of 2018–19.

1st Space Brigade[edit]

The 1st Space Brigade (Provisional) was activated in May 2003, with the 1st Space Battalion, the 1st Satellite Control Battalion (later to become the 53rd Signal Battalion), and the 193rd Space Battalion (Colorado Army National Guard).[14]

The mission of 1st Space Brigade is to "conduct continuous, global space support, space control and space force enhancement operations in support of U.S. Strategic Command and Supported Combatant Commanders enabling the delivery of decisive combat power." [15]

53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON) conducts payload and transmission control of the Defense Satellite Communications System and Wideband Global Satellite Communications System constellations.[16][17]

Friendly force tracking (actually tracking both friend or foe) is one of the basic functions of the SMDC.[3]


On 27 Sept. 1974, at the Missile Site Radar Complex near Nekoma, North Dakota, and at the Ballistic Missile Defense Center at NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, the Safeguard System facilities were officially transferred to the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command after a four and one-half-year construction project by 10 companies.[18]

Joint Center of Excellence[edit]

The Joint Ballistic Missile Defense Education and Training Center (JBMDETC) is now a Joint Center of Excellence.[19] JBMDETC is operated by the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD). United States Strategic Command's JFCC IMD is located at Schriever Air Force Base. Both Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and JFCC IMD are service components of United States Strategic Command.

Priority given to air and missile defense[edit]

Air and missile defense is a modernization priority of the United States Army Futures Command, formed 2019.[20] The Air and missile defense CFT[21][22] is tasked with modernization of materiel for Air and Missile defense.[23][24] Targeted areas currently include:

The LCMC (part of ASA(ALT)), the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) is an associated unit of Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Redstone Arsenal. AMRDEC is now part of U.S. Army Futures Command, as is the Air and missile defense CFT. The LCMC is responsible for materiel sustainment; AMRDEC and the respective CFTs work to modernize aircraft for the Aviation COE, and missiles for SMDC.

A Program executive officer (PEO) works with the Army Futures Command CFTs to move materiel into production. Vendors for Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) were downselected to two competitors in 2017, and 2018. The award to replace the Patriot radar is slated for 2023.[30]

List of Commanding Generals[edit]

No. Commanding General Term
Portrait Name Took office Left office Term Length
Edward G. Anderson III
Anderson, Edward G. IIILieutenant General
Edward G. Anderson III
October 1997August 1998~10 months
Steven W. Flohr
Flohr, Steven W.Colonel
Steven W. Flohr
August 1998October 1998~2 months
John P. Costello
Costello, John P.Lieutenant General
John P. Costello
October 1998March 2001~2 years and 5 months
John M. Urias
Urias, John M.Brigadier General
John M. Urias
March 2001April 2001~1 months
Joseph M. Cosumano Jr.
Cosumano, Joseph M. Jr.Lieutenant General
Joseph M. Cosumano Jr.
April 2001December 2003~1 year and 4 months
Larry J. Dodgen
Dodgen, Larry J.Lieutenant General
Larry J. Dodgen
December 2003December 2006~3 years
Kevin T. Campbell
Campbell, Kevin T.Lieutenant General
Kevin T. Campbell
December 2006December 2010~4 years
Richard P. Formica
Formica, Richard P.Lieutenant General
Richard P. Formica
December 2010August 2013~2 years and 8 months
David L. Mann
Mann, David L.Lieutenant General
David L. Mann
August 2013January 5, 2017~2 years and 5 months
James H. Dickinson
Dickinson, James H.Lieutenant General
James H. Dickinson
5 January 20175 December 20192 years, 334 days
Daniel L. Karbler
Karbler, Daniel K.Lieutenant General
Daniel L. Karbler
6 December 2019Incumbent254 days

See also[edit]

Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense Comparable organizations


  1. ^ Ronald Bailey (USASMDC) (November 26, 2019) Karbler confirmed to lead U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
  2. ^ "SMDC History: 20th anniversary of the creation of 1st SATCON Battalion". army.mil. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Dottie White (August 17, 2018) SMDC senior leader discusses his career path, unique role of National Guard in Command's mission
  4. ^ Sgt. Zachary Sheely (SMDC/ARSTRAT) (December 11, 2017) Nine Soldiers graduate ICBM defense course
  5. ^ Dottie White (July 17, 2018) 1st Space Brigade welcomes new commander
  6. ^ Meet your Army: Chief trains Soldiers to detect missiles, Accessed 2016-09-06
  7. ^ SMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs Office (October 22, 2018) Early missile warning unit passes evaluation with 99 percent Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTaGS), Osan AB
  8. ^ White, Dottie K (17 October 2017). "Army activates 2nd Space Battalion". US Army. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  9. ^ SGT Benjamin Crane, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (GMD) Public Affairs (15 September 2011) Missile defense exercise spans globe
  10. ^ Carlson III, Staff Sgt. Jack W. (18 February 2010). "This week at the 49th Missile Defense BN". US Army. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  11. ^ U.S. Army Satellite Operations Brigade and Change of Command ceremony during COVID-19
  12. ^ Sharon Watkins Lang, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Command Historian (February 16, 2016) SMDC History: SMDC creates first non-TRADOC Battle Lab 1997–2015
  13. ^ Associated Press, "U.S. Army tests new dirigible craft to detect cruise missiles", 20 April 2010.
  14. ^ "The Eagle" (PDF). May 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2013.
  15. ^ (11 April 2003) SMDC activates 1st Space Brigade (Provisional)
  16. ^ Dottie White (June 11, 2018) 53rd Signal Battalion conducts change of command
  17. ^ Sean Kimmons, Army News Service (March 18, 2019) Satellite launch enhances comms for Army missions
  18. ^ Sharon Watkins Lang (SMDC/ARSTRAT Command Historian) (September 27, 2018) SMDC History: Army accepts Safeguard System
  19. ^ Frank Saffen (JFCC IMD) (October 2, 2018) DoD certifies first Joint Center of Excellence
  20. ^ Sydney J. Freeberg, Jr. (28 May 2019) Beyond INF: An Affordable Arsenal Of Long-Range Missiles? INF Treaty likely to expire in August 2019
  21. ^ Air and missile defense CFT (14 March 2018) Air and Missile Defense
  22. ^ Army Directive 2017–24 (Cross-Functional Team Pilot In Support of Materiel Development)
  23. ^ David Vergun, Defense.gov (February 22, 2019) DOD official describes missile defense strategy
  24. ^ Loren Thompson (3 October 2019) Pentagon's Next-Gen Missile Defense Plan Could Leave U.S. Poorly Protected For Years
  25. ^ Sydney J. Freeberg, Jr. (January 26, 2018) $86,000 + 5,600 MPH = Hyper Velocity Missile Defense
  26. ^ Sydney J. Freeberg, Jr. (22 August 2018) Why Hypersonics Are No. 1
  27. ^ Joe Lacdan (October 16, 2018) The Army joins the Air Force, Navy in attempt to develop hypersonic weaponry
  28. ^ Samantha Hill (SMDC/ARSTRAT) (February 25, 2019) Dickinson highlights key developments in missile development and space SHORAD
  29. ^ (19 March 2018) Air and missile defense CFT pursuing 'layered and tiered approach'
  30. ^ Rich Abott (10/09/2018) Lockheed Martin And Raytheon Advance In Patriot Radar Replacement

External links[edit]