Army Space Command
The U.S. Army Space Command one of seven major subordinate elements of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), commands and controls the Army Space Forces. Army Space Forces provide existing and emerging Space capabilities that enable the National Command Authority, U. S. forces, and our allies to deliver decisive combat power.
The mission of the Army Space Command, or ARSPACE, is to support Army, Joint, and Coalition warfighters with space-based expertise, advice, capabilities, and products. ARSPACE is also involved in the development of technological solutions to warfighter requirements through its Technical Support Office.
Its missions are to:
- Support the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Space Command. The Commander of the Army Space Command is the Army component to the unified U.S. Space Command. ARSPACE ensures that the Army's requirements are met at the joint level, while bringing the CINC's views and concerns to the Army staff. ARSPACE supports CINCSPACE in the development of Joint space doctrine, as well as the development of plans, policies, and requirements for space support to Army operations.
- Operate and Manage the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS). This system spans the globe to provide super-high-frequency communications to all U.S. warfighting forces - anywhere, anytime.
Management, planning, and control of the payloads on DSCS satellites is ARSPACE's largest mission. ARSPACE operates and maintains five DSCS control facilities located around the world, one Ground Mobile Forces Control Center (AN-MSQ-114), and the DSCS Certification Facility, or DCF, at Falcon Air Force Base in Colorado. These facilities control the satellite links for tactical warfighter communications and strategic communications networks. They also provide payload control to the satellite and technical training and troubleshooting assistance required to ensure maximum support to the user. In addition, the DCF provides platform control, monitoring the health and welfare of the payloads for selected satellites in the DSCS constellation. Three Regional Space Support Centers perform DSCS planning and authorize warfighter use of DSCS capabilities.
ARSPACE support of the Army, Joint, and Coalition warfighter spans the globe. Army Space Support Teams, or ARSST, provide expertise and advice and operate equipment which provides the warfighter support in the planning and conduct of the complete spectrum of today's military operations.
Each of the five teams is aligned with a Corps and provides communications, weather, terrain analysis and 3-D visualization, mapping, and satellite coverage analysis capabilities to the Corps commander. ARSST are deployable to exercises and contingency operations and have supported every contingency operation since Operation Desert Storm. They are capable of sustained operation of the equipment, or they can train designated soldiers to operate the equipment.
ARSPACE and the Program Manager for Air Defense Command and Control Systems recently developed the overarching prototype Theater Missile Defense, or TMD, capability, the Army Theater Missile Defense Element, which ARSPACE fielded. This system synchronizes the four pillars of TMD: Passive Defense, Active Defense, Attack Operations, and Battle Management/Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence. After three years of exercising and development, it was passed to the Army Air and Missile Defense Command, the system's user, at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
The United States Army has a rich history in exploration of the space frontier. In fact, America's space program was initiated following the Second World War by the U. S. Army. It's initial success was the development of America's first working modern rocket -- the Redstone rocket. This was immediately followed by the Army's launch of Explorer I, America's first satellite. Other early efforts included the development of the Jupiter Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, the world's first active communications satellite and some of the moon probes. These programs highlighted the contribution of Army pioneers in the use of space systems for communication, navigation, mapping, and surveillance.
Since these early efforts, the Army's contribution to the American space program has evolved and diversified. Part of this evolution and diversification was the establishment of the United States Army Space Command. The U. S. Army Space Command (USARSPACE) began in September 1984 as an Army Staff Field Element. The Field Element acted as liaison to U. S. Air Force Space Command and initiated planning for Army participation in the unified U. S. Space Command. In September 1985, the Staff Element was redesignated as the Army Space Planning Group and became the Army element of the newly formed U. S. Space Command. In August 1986, the group was again redesignated as the Army Space Agency. The Agency was the Army component to the U. S. Space Command and a Field Operating Agency of Headquarters, Department of the Army.
On 7 April, 1988, the U. S. Army Space Command was activated and organized to support the field Army. It absorbed the planning and support functions of the Army Space Agency and assumed operational space missions. In August 1992, the U. S. Army Space Command became an element of the newly formed U. S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command. Since 1992, USARSPACE has made invaluable contributions in support of Army Warfighter in both contingency operations and on major exercises. The USARSPACE leadership and staff are truly leading the way for the Force Projection Army as it enters the 21st Century.
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