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Army Space and Missile Defense Command leader speaks about missile defense future

By Jason B. Cutshaw (SMDC/ARSTRAT) August 14, 2017

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- The leader of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command explained how the command is ensuring space and missile defense for the Soldier, the Army and the nation at the 20th Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville.

Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, and commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, gave an update to those in attendance at the symposium on Aug. 9. He talked about what the command is doing, not only today, but also tomorrow and the day after tomorrow with the theme of "Space and Missile Defense -- Critical Enabler to the Multi-Domain Battle."

"During these past 20 years, together, we have witnessed great advances in technology as well as increased challenges from our adversaries," Dickinson said. "What is most important about this week, is that each of us has an opportunity to have a dialogue, exchange ideas and further space and missile defense understanding and collaboration to enhance our capabilities to meet the expectations of our great nation."

He discussed how ballistic missile capabilities of adversaries are increasing both in terms of quantity and quality, and how missiles and long-range rockets represent an asymmetric threat.

"To prevent conflict, shape security environments, and win in future conflicts, the joint force must have the capability and capacity to accomplish assigned missions while confronting increasingly sophisticated threats," Dickinson said. "To prepare for conflict, the Department of Defense must innovate faster than potential adversaries to project power from across all domains, to enable the joint force to defeat a sophisticated adversary.

"Our potential adversaries have demonstrated a commitment to advance their missiles, unmanned aircraft systems, and long-range rocket and artillery capabilities," he added. "The threats posed by our adversaries grow more complex and unpredictable, more mobile and survivable, and their numbers are increasing along with the range and accuracy of their munitions."

Dickinson said that space is becoming more congested and contested, and discussed how the command is continuing to develop better ways to counter the threat.

"Today, every service member is space-enabled; each one regularly sees, shoots, moves and communicates via satellites and space-enhanced assets," Dickinson said. "Our official military assessments are unanimous-space, missile defense, and high altitude capabilities matter more today than ever before. And just as these domains and associated capabilities are becoming more valuable, they are also becoming more vulnerable."

He explained how technology is providing capabilities to America's Soldiers, and how those Soldiers are in return protecting the nation around the clock.

"Modern American Warfighters face tough tests in terms of access to key regions in the multi-domain environment," Dickinson said. "These challenges threaten our homeland and broader American strategic efforts. Each of our organizations develop and provide current and future capabilities that deter, deny, and defeat these challenges to support the nation's success."

Dickinson explained how the nation must balance current operations and training with future research and development efforts.

"We must develop the world's best combat-ready forces and capabilities," he said. "Especially our space and missile defense professionals; they are the organization's most valued asset, which comes from their agile, versatile ability to respond effectively to any challenge our adversaries present."

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