COMMAND CENTER: From The Eagle...
by Lieutenant General Kevin T. Campbell, Commanding General, SMDC/ARSTRAT
Army Aviation can trace its roots back to September 1908 when Orville Wright conducted a test flight of the Wright Flyer at Fort Myers, Virginia. The Wright Flyer reportedly flew about 100 feet in the air and stayed aloft for less than two minutes. A year later, the Army purchased its first airplane and Army Aviation was born.
The Army looked at the Wright Flyer 99 years ago and envisioned capabilities and possibilities. In similar fashion, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (SMDC/ARSTRAT) looks at space and sees capabilities and possibilities to support warfighters, and we look at missile defense and see an integrated global system.
Today, SMDC/ARSTRAT is experimenting with our own version of flyers that can reach altitudes greater than 60,000 feet and stay aloft for several days, providing warfighters with enhanced capabilities. High altitude flyers are but one of many space and missile defense capabilities that SMDC/ARSTRAT is working on to support the warfighter.
SMDC/ARSTRAT is the Army proponent for space, high altitude, and groundbased midcourse defense (GMD), that develops, transitions technology, and provides acquisition support to assigned fields. We are uniquely organized to develop the technologies necessary in each of those areas and to deliver those capabilities to the Army and to the nation.
One example of space-based capability that I believe will have significant impact is the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite. WGS increases communications capability by tenfold over existing satellites. The system helps close one of the largest capability gaps identified: limited high-throughput, protected military satellite communications. WGS is a collaborative effort between the Army, Air Force, and industry.
The first WGS satellite was launched October 2007 and became operational earlier this year. The satellite is piloted by the Air Force and SMDC/ARSTRAT Soldiers control its onboard communications capabilities.
Another area with great potential is small satellites. We have an initiative underway to determine if low-cost small satellites will satisfy warfighter needs for Beyond-Line-of-Sight communications as well as other capabilities. One of the objectives of the SMDC/ARSTRAT initiative is to demonstrate and validate that a level of persistence over a specific region for a specific purpose is feasible using small-satellite formations.
A key aspect of space-based capabilities is the professionals working in the arena. Army Space Operations professionals are the space experts who integrate space-based capabilities at the tactical and operational levels of command. They also ensure Army space requirements are understood and addressed in decision and developmental locations within and outside the Army at locations such as the National Security Space Office, the Air Force Space and Missile Center, the National Reconnaissance Office as well as working to expand our presence inside Air Force Space Command.
As critical as our space role is, of equal importance is our continuing development and fielding of global integrated missile defense capabilities. To see first, decide first, and act first when responding to a missile threat requires a global focus regional missile defenses operating alone are no longer adequate.
The evolution of an integrated command and control, battle management communications (C2BMC) architecture for integrated missile defense and its ability to contribute to situational awareness will be of critical importance to the warfighter.
Enhanced real-time command and control through net-centric interoperability of sensor, C2BMC, and shooter systems will increase the effectiveness of air, space, and missile defense systems. These enhancements will promote mobile, modular, mission tailored forces, integrated fire control; and joint systems interoperability all distinct attributes of our transforming Army.
Our missile defense SMDC/ARSTRAT Soldiers are deployed around the world supporting the missile defense mission and stand ready to protect our nation and our allies from a missile attack. I continue to be very proud of our soldiers and civilians who deploy into harms way. SMDC/ARSTRAT Soldiers have deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since the beginning of combat operations. I am also proud of the soldiers, civilians and contractors who work tirelessly behind the scenes researching, developing, and acquiring the space and missile defense systems needed to maintain our dominance in space and our dominance on the ground.
About the author
Lieutenant General Kevin T. Campbell graduated from Worcester State College in 1973 with a bachelors of science degree. He received his commission into the Air Defense Artillery branch that same year. In 1982, he earned a masters degree in personnel management from the University of New Hampshire. His military education includes the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Nike-Hercules Officer Course, Ranger and Airborne Schools, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College.
General Campbells previous assignments include: Chief of Staff, United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.; Director of Plans, United States Space Command; Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Air Defense Artillery Center and Fort Bliss, Texas; Commanding General, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), Fort Bliss, Texas; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Combat Developments, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.; Commander, 94th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Darmstadt, Germany; Political-Military Planner (Eastern Europe/Bosnia), J5, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; G3, 32nd AADCOM, Darmstadt, Germany; Commander, 2nd Battalion (PATRIOT), 43rd Air Defense Artillery, Hanau, Germany; Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion (PATRIOT), 43rd Air Defense Artillery, Fort Bliss, Texas; Chief, Unit Training Division, Directorate of Training and Doctrine, Fort Bliss, Texas; ROTC Instructor, University of New Hampshire; Adjutant, 1st Battalion (HAWK), 2nd Air Defense Artillery, Korea; Assistant Operations Officer, 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Korea; Commander, Nike Hercules Battery, Homestead, Fla., and Fort Bliss, Texas; and Artillery Team Commander, Datteln, Germany.
General Campbells decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Southwest Asia Service Medal (with three Bronze Stars), Kuwait Liberation Medal, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge.
“Securing the high ground starts at SMDC/ARSTRAT.” The command’s objective is to provide dominant space and missile defense capabilities for the Army and to plan for and integrate those capabilities in support of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCC) missions.
Mission: SMDC/ARSTRAT conducts space and missile defense operations and provides planning, integration, control and coordination of Army forces and capabilities in support of US Strategic Command missions; serves as the Army specified proponent for space, high altitude, and ground-based midcourse defense; serves as the Army operational integrator for global missile defense; and conducts mission-related research and development in support of Army Title 10 responsibilities and serves as the focal point for desired characteristics and capabilities in support of USSTRATCOM missions.
Since 1957, when the Army created the first program office for ballistic missile defense, the command has dedicated itself to missile defense research, development and deployment. In December 1962, the command made history with the first successful intercept of an ICBM reentry vehicle with the Nike-Zeus. History was repeated in the 1980s with a new non-nuclear technology. The kinetic energy concept of “hitting a bullet with a bullet” was first proven in June 1984 with the intercept of an ICBM warhead in the Homing Overlay Experiment.
In 1987, the Flexible Lightweight Agile Guided Experiment confirmed the concept against shorter-range tactical missiles. Nearly a decade later, the command demonstrated the missile defense applications of directed energy systems. In February 1996, the Mid Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser destroyed a short-range rocket in flight.