Air Defense Artillery School
Air Defense Artillery Center and School
The mission of the Air Defense Artillery School is to meet the needs of Army, joint, and coalition commanders. The School leads an innovative and forward-thinking fires enterprise that provides the nation with the world's best trained, organized, and equipped soldiers and units led by adaptive and resilient leaders; develops and deploys field artillery and air defense artillery capabilities required for full spectrum operations to support current operational needs; and develops and integrates capabilities for future force warfighting concepts. These missions are achieved through engagement and world class joint and coalition exportable training.
The US Army Air Defense Artillery School (USAADASCH) established at Fort Bliss, Texas, as the home of air defense leadership and technical training. The School traced its lineage to the Artillery School for Instruction. This school, the oldest service school in the Army, laid the foundation for the subsequent system of military education in the Army. By the early 2000s, USAADASCH was one of some 40 centers, schools, and activities in the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Under the functional oversight of the Combined Arms Command (CAC), USAADASCH served as the center of excellence for all aspects of Army air and missile defense.
The USAADASCH mission at that time was to develop challenging training programs for both US and Allied personnel that would produce leaders who were technically and tactically proficient; and provide ADA units with fightable doctrine, organizations structured to support the full range of Army operations, and superior weapon systems enabling them to achieve decisive victory with minimum casualties. To achieve this mission and to support US forces worldwide, USAADASCH identified the following mission essential task list items, keyed to the TRADOC domains of Doctrine, Training, Leader Development, Organization, Materiel, and Soldiers.
The primary organizations within USAADASCH were the Directorate of Combat Developments (DCD); the Directorate of Tactics, Training and Doctrine (DOTTD); the Office of the Chief of Air Defense Artillery (OCADA); the Directorate of Total Force Integration (DTFI); 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade; TRADOC System Manager - Theater Missile Defense (TSM-TMD); TRADOC System Manager - Short Range Air Defense (TSM-SHORAD); and the Management Support Office (MSO). The standard pattern of organizational structure for USAADASCH was the directorate or command, the division or battalion, the branch or battery, and the section. In addition, "office" was an integral part of the organization, denoting staff elements that perform a special function or provide advice and assistance in connection with administration and operations.
Officers commissioned in the Air Defense Artillery started their careers with attendance at the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course at the USAADASCH. During this 20-week course they were prepared for their first duty assignments and became familiar with the family of air defense weapons and their tactical employment. Based on needs of the Army and their personal preference, student officers were either trained in forward area air defense systems (FAADS), which would maneuver with tactical ground units, or specialized in high- to medium range- (HIMAD) missile systems, which would defend division, corps, theater, and geopolitical assets.
The Officer Basic Course was designed to provide the newly commissioned Air Defense Lieutenant the tactical and technical skills he or she needed to assume control of a platoon sized element and prepare it to fight America's battles. The course was broken down into a common core phase and a weapon track phase. Students would attend either the SHORAD course or the Patriot course upon successful completion of the common core phase. The Common Core phase had 4 distinct segments. The Core 1A segment taught the Lieutenant skills on Military Graphics, terminology, and Organization of the Army. The Core 1B segment taught skills on Training Management; Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare; Military Justice; The Law of Land Warfare; and The Army Physical Fitness Program. The Core 2 segment taught skills on the Army Supply System, The Army Maintenance Management System (TAMMS), Combat Service Support (CSS) operations. Finally, the Core 3 segment taught skills on maneuver force offensive and defensive operations, Army Airspace Command and Control (A2C2), USAF Tactical Air Operations, Fundamentals of Air Defense Operations, and integration of Army Air Defense into maneuver force operations. Each Weapons Track was designed to provide in depth instruction of the technical and tactical aspects of the specific Air Defense Artillery weapon system the lieutenant had been assigned.
After this basic schooling, new officers were normally assigned as platoon leaders of Patriot, BSFV/Stinger, or Stinger/Avenger platoons. In BSFV units, the platoons often operated independently from present batteries to provide area air defense support for infantry and armor elements. As Stinger/Avenger platoon leaders, their troops would be deployed to protect critical assets in rear areas, to support field artillery, and to defend light infantry maneuver forces from air attack. The officers' responsibilities included the operational training and tactical employment of the platoon, the maintenance of equipment, and the welfare and morale of soldiers.
Through this training and experience, the Air Defense Artillery officer normally qualified for positions of increasing responsibility as an Air Defense Artillery Unit executive officer or staff officer in the various Air Defense organizations deployed around the world. These positions provided for both new challenges and professional development opportunities in a branch with a vital mission for preserving peace.
The next phase of formal training occurred between the third and fifth year of commissioned service and was known as the Air Defense Artillery Officer Career Course, a training course conducted at the Air Defense Artillery School. The course prepared officers to command at the battery level and to serve as battalion and brigade staff officers. Also included was instruction in the tactical employment of Air Defense Artillery batteries and other elements of the combined arms team.
While Fort Bliss was the home of Air Defense Artillery, the Air Defense Artillery School, the ADA Officer Basic Course, by the mid-2000s, the US Army Air Defense Artillery School Transformation was proceeding in consonance with Army Transformation, Army TRADOC Transformation, and Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Transformation. The Air Defense Artillery School started the transformation process early by initiating projects in strategic planning and doctrine and training development. This head start made the Air Defense Artillery School a lead pilot program for TRADOC Transformation. In 2005, however, the Department of Defense recommended to move the Air Defense Artillery School to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and consolidate it with another training unit into a Net Fires School.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, the Department of Defense recommended the realignment of Fort Bliss, Texas, by relocating what was then known as the Air Defense Artillery Center and School to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This recommendation would also consolidate the Air Defense Artillery Center and School with the Field Artillery Center and School at Fort Sill to establish a Net Fires Center. This recommendation would consolidate Net Fires training and doctrine development at a single location. The moves would advance the Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) model, at that time in place at Fort Leonard Wood, which consolidated the Military Police, Engineer, and Chemical Centers and Schools. This recommendation would improve the MANSCEN concept by consolidating functionally related Branch Centers and Schools, which would foster consistency, standardization, and training proficiency. It would also facilitate task force stabilization, by combining operational forces with institutional training. In addition, it would consolidate both Air Defense Artillery and Field Artillery skill level I courses at one location, which would allow the Army to reduce the total number of Military Occupational Skills training locations, thereby reducing the TRADOC footprint.
The redesignated Air Defense Artillery School was subsequently moved in 2009 to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where it joined the Field Artillery School and other elements as part of the Fires Center of Excellence. The other elements of the Air Defense Artillery School were also subsequently relocated to Fort Sill, including the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
In 2012, the Air Defense Artillery School's 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was inactivated and reflagged as the 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. Its function remained the same despite the change in designation.
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